||[Aug. 28th, 2006|04:52 pm]
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.