Tuesday, August 21, 2007
sssh! The Universe Is Listening!
I know that Shit Happens to everyone, randomly and without an agenda all the time. But did you ever get stuck in a rut where anytime something good or, Heaven forbid, something GREAT! happens, something crappy occurs? Like the Universe needs to balance your Kharma real quick? Or worse, your victories seem to summon a defeat?
In the Mental Health world (uh, I've,,,uh read, yeah) that kind of paranoia is called Emotional Reasoning or Irrational Reasoning. That's when you take the benign way that things occur in your life and you force a pattern on random events. Human beings ALWAYS look for patterns to find comfort or, in the case of Emotional Reasoning, discomfort that fulfills an Expectation or Core Belief that we hold as Truth for ourselves.
I have looked for the "Kick Me" sign on my back. I've had other people look. It's not really there. Unless my cat or my roommate is shaving a bullseye in the hair on my back (they aren't, because Irony doesn't occur to them...well, maybe to the cat but not David) I'm just as likely to have Good or Bad events happening as anyone else. But since I get to classify everything, if I'm creating an Expectation in my life that I'm on a bad streak, then I'll even look for the Bad in events that are basically harmless. If I'm really ruled by my Negative Expectation, I'll even start to distrust the Good events as harbingers of something Bad that will come along to take me down a notch.
Coincidence is everywhere. That's why it's so easy to make patterns out of anything. I had a surprise two weeks ago that has monopolized all of my time and attention that I would have to classify as a Bad event. Because it occured when I was flush with the recent success of a trip home and my 25th Class Reunion it felt like I had celebrated my success too loudly. Like Fate (fickle because we make it up to fill our need for direction) has intervened to put me back on my slow downward spiral to wherever downward spirals end.
Although Intellect Timothy knows he's not a "marked man," Emotional Timothy looks not only for WHY? the Bad event occurred, he looks for clues that preceded the event (he's very busy, you ought to dream my dreams) so he can bolster his defences and make his case that, INDEED, Bad things must follow Good.
I haven't blogged since August 9, the day before the"Bad" or (more politically correct) "Good Challenged" surprise. My last entry, twelve days ago, was called "All Fall Down" and featured pictures of the I-35 bridge collapse here in Minneapolis. Emotional Timothy is almost convinced that had We or He or I paid careful attention to the title, We or He or I could have predicted the arrival of the surprise. That some hidden power within us had foretold the event with our last blog title! Emotional Timothy would have me believe that I'm a Doomed Clairvoyant! - burdened not only with the Universe's Revenge but with the Responsibility of the power to Predict the next downturn.
I know, it's all crazy-talk. Part of my brain, when faced with random events, is connecting-the-dots to make a picture of Tormented Timothy - Gifted, Cursed, Sympathetic victim of a Universe with his name on it. All in all an artistic image of the character my perception wants me to be in the stream-of-conciousness novel of my life that plays in my head. The illusion I'm "marked by Fate" with touches of the other illusion that I can avoid disaster with my gift of foresight.
A third illusion (the BIG one in fact) - if I'm writing my life, I must be in Control. My Destiny is mine to create! I am driving the bus! That idea (emotional, not rational) is locked in combat with it's opposite (also emotional, not rational) that I am a passenger on a Cursed Train - desperately trying to steer a new course from Fate's Hideous and Inevitable Track to Wherever Fate's Hideous and Inevitable Track Ends (I haven't written that far yet.)
Ah! And there's the rub. I am the one imagining that the events in my life point to Control or its Absolute Absence. My Truth (our truth, humans all) is that my Future is partly neither and a little bit both ("partly neither and a little bit both" - seven words that say nothing.) Random events will continue to happen to me, the unexpected will remain unexpected. I can only control my Reactions (six words that say everything.)
I remember (when we let me) periods of time in my life when everything I touched or thought or attempted seemed to turn to gold. There were times that brief, jarring shocks peek-a-booed their way into things but Golden Timothy knew that they would quickly dissolve in favor of his charmed existence. A sweeter illusion by far, but an illusion none the less.
My challenge to me? - to find my own version of Grace in the face of the countless "whatevers" that lie ahead. Grace in the face of Whatever (six words that define us all.)