Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the plank in my eye

Sometimes I want to share about insights I've had or lessons I'm learning but I fear that people will assume they know who has helped me learn that lesson or that I'm thinking/writing about someone in particular. I suppose I always am, but that someone is me. I just wanted to make clear that what I'm about to say is about me alone.

I've had a lot of opportunity of late to reflect on some patterns that have run my life and some traits or tendencies that work for me in some areas and not at all in others. One of those things that sounds good but gets twisted into something unhelpful is being compassionate. In both micro and macro ways, I want to make a difference for those who are hurting. It's why I am in Jamaica. It's why I volunteer when I'm at home. It's why most of my pets have been rescues or had some injury they needed nursing back from (that quirk has become somewhat of a running joke with my parents, particularly when I had a menagerie of needs - a scaredy-dog with a kinked tail, a cat with food allergies [and "developmental delays"] and a bunny that was blind in one eye). 

This morning I had the realization that the extension/bastardization of this drive in me is that sometimes my 'type' in relationships has less to do with particular physical attributes and more to do with wanting to rescue someone. When the rescuing is mutual it's worked out okay (though obviously not that okay or we'd be having a different conversation) - then it's not so much rescuing as mutual care and support, and I fully acknowledge the men who have tried to rescue me. However, far too often instead of a partner I go looking for a project. While there have been times that's put me in danger, generally it's less dangerous than it is a sad dishonouring of them and me.

On the receiving end, who wants to be chosen for a relationship because of their perceived weaknesses? And who am I to say someone else needs fixing or that I have any power to affect that change? As for me, what was new information this morning is that when my confidence has been shaken and I'm doubting my own worth it occurs to me that 'fixing' someone is what I need to do in order to compensate for the high price of admission for being with me. If I make your life better maybe you won't mind my soft belly or my height; maybe you'll have more grace for me when I'm snarky; maybe you won't mind that you'll always rank behind two other men in my life.

I pondered this while I made my way to work this morning - the walk, the bus, and the route taxi were all filled with my ruminations. When I got to work, I went on YouTube to look up a particular Christmas song and instead this video was the first one in the "recommended videos for you" list. Oh Googlebots, you know me too well. Listen all the way to the end - there's a question there worth thinking about.

And here's a new agreement from me: you do your work and I'll do mine. Now excuse me, I need to go deal with this plank in my eye. 


Reverb Prompt 16: (When I received this prompt I read it in relation to my writing projects and didn't see the fit. I see it now)  Like many folks, I picture myself as a modern day Wonder Woman, trying to use my superpowers, to do lists and pure force to get what I want.
- In 2014, I found that my effort wasn’t often tied to my desired outcomes -- except when it was.
- In 2015, is there something you’d like to try harder at because you believe it would make all the difference?
- Conversely, what is something you could stop trying so hard at that might actually help you manifest what you’d like


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