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So, Friday, I decided to work from home so I could get my car worked… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

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[Aug. 28th, 2006|04:52 pm]
John
So, Friday, I decided to work from home so I could get my car worked on. It looked like it was going to be a quiet day at work, and it was... I didn't have a lot to do. That made it a bit nastier when I found out the price for car repairs... fifteen hundred dollars.

Part of me was stressed and upset; this put me behind in my attempt to get out of debt. Then, I put it in perspetive. How far back did it put me? Well... a month.

Now, I have a policy with myself. I'm not going to deny that I feel bad just because someone else has it worse. I have friends to whom a $1500 car repair spells doom... but that doesn't mean I have to feel ashamed for feeling bad or stressed. It does put it in perspective, though.

Still, I was stressed, which was bad news. There were two public events this weekend, an OLOTEAS gathering, and a gathering set up by an LJ-friend who I want to meet. Anxiety is really bad for me, socially speaking. I have a bit of anxiety when I'm in a social situation anyway; walking in with some already running around in my head makes it even worse.


It was this weekend that I finally was able to put words to why, though, so I suppose that helped.

You see, it suddenly struck me that the reason I find public gatherings to be a struggle is that, deep down, I have no expectations of them turning out well. I expect them to be a struggle, and then... I expect my life to continue, no better, but maybe worse than before.

Is there anyone reading this who doesn't know that, as a child, I was the subject of a great deal of teasing and bullying? And my family was much better, but it wasn't exactly a safe haven, either. So, really, from childhood, I was trained (in the behaviorist sense) to expect negative outcomes from social encounters.

Yesterday night, a few things tied themselves together, I think.

You see, I was doing my exercising while meditating thing, and I had a vision of the Raven... not surprising, that's my spirit guide. Except, it wasn't... it was the Phoenix.

I thought I knew what that had meant. Someone had just recently posted about how one Eastern religion suggests that the self is the root of evil. I think that's true in a real sense, but probably not in the way one might think.

You see, if a person had no desires, and no needs, it would be nearly impossible for that person to be evil. After all, what would that person do? What possible motivation could cause that person to act without consideration for others? Would that person try to harm someone? Why, when it would satisfy no desires?

The Phoenix arises, fresh and new, having immolated its self. It has learned to be without the self, and created a new life. That, then, was my lesson, right?

Or was it?

Having felt set-upon from many different sides much of my life, I've developed a sort of guardedness, and a kind of self-consciousness that hasn't always served me well. ("Hasn't always" might mean "has never"... but I only can be sure that sometimes, it's not been a good servant.)

Was that what the Phoenix was referring to? To cast that constant vigilance, that image of myself I was constantly watching, into the flames, and fly on, unburdened?

Or perhaps it was something entirely different. Perhaps it is simply time to completely discard the past. Those experiences, the guilt, the feelings of worthlessness and the defenses I built, the structures I created, and maybe even the entire notion of who and what I was needed to become part of a pyre, and give me the chance for rebirth.

I don't know... but I think that's going to be occupying my thoughts for a while.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-08-29 01:31 am (UTC)
I don't think you can ever really completely discard the past, but I do believe in rebirths. The past is part of what shapes the rebirth, however.

...if a person had no desires, and no needs, it would be nearly impossible for that person to be evil. After all, what would that person do? What possible motivation could cause that person to act without consideration for others? Would that person try to harm someone? Why, when it would satisfy no desires?

I think that's what evil is, simply acting to harm others, without necessarily any strong motivation or need being satisfied.

If you are a relatively good person, it requires a HUGE push to do something that will harm someone else. But for an evil person--it takes a lot less.

These are, obviously, my opinions. Ignore at will.

(I like the questions you bring up.)
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[User Picture]From: kyra_ojosverdes
2006-08-29 02:38 am (UTC)
*hug*
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[User Picture]From: teddywolf
2006-08-29 03:33 am (UTC)
I was teased and bullied as a child, myself. I still have some concerns about large social gatherings, but fewer than I used to. For me, the lessons I learned were that such gatherings can take a lot of focus and energy and I might still end up with people disliking me - so I was an eager, nervous puppy. Unfortunately, not a good combo :\

I am less nervous and, in some ways, less eager now.

Stress happens. You already know the rules of stress and looking at it, so you're ahead of the game there.

There really is no true way to completely remake yourself short of major geographical upheaval combined with total amnesia. If nothing else, it's still you doing the remaking, which brings in memory.
It's fine to change, though.

**hands you some hot chocolate**
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From: penitence69
2006-08-30 11:19 pm (UTC)

ramble

my guess is, most of were either picked on or were the pickers. i lived on both sides of the fence, at different times in my life.

having lived through some intense situations in my life, i have anxiety issues surrounding social stuff. most people don't know it. i still get massive anxiety at wierd times. i've trained myself to sing onstage with a band, but singing karaoke makes me break out in a serious sweat, under-arms and backs of the knees soaked, and makes me feel like i have to suddenly go to the ladies' room RIGHT NOW.

totems are powerful things. i once used a deck of cards called the animal cards or some such thing. they were a great tool. they got me thinking about stuff i would normally ignore. only you can say what the bird was telling you. your inner voice can identify it, roll it around, pick it apart. if you think it was a raven, you'll be able to see what you're meant to see from a raven or what your higher consciousness is able to see from it. if you think it was a phoenix, same thing. i think it's like dreams: only the dreamer knows for sure if the common symbology applies or if the dream was purely a mind-echo from something that happened the day before.

and btw, i agree with kay about your thoughts being very authentic as you write them here. thanks for the good read.
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