You know you’re in trouble when you’re following Muammar Gaddafi’s lead! The documentary told how a young on-the-move Gaddafi broke cultural tradition by not going back home to contribute when his family could really have benefited. “Oh,” I remember saying to myself, “his independence from paradigm norms and rules freed him to create his own world.” And it’s kinda scary how easily a piece of random information can dig itself into your own story. Of course, these specific randoms are often being hunted for by a brain that wants to validate the story it’s already got simmering, but cart/horse, both models end up allowing some pretty surprising permissions.
I guess I should have thought twice before modeling my life choices on those of a psychopath. But whatever, like this (click here) abomination, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So I’ve got to do this alone, I figured, never realizing how far I’d take this particularly dangerous permission.
And I’m sorry. I am so so sorry!! I’ve ignored holidays, left emails dangling lost and lonely for months – and you can forget about my tradition of handmade cards. I’ve neglected my most basic social responsibilities, all in the name of some ambiguous quest to find a mental framework that would let me be me to the best of my abilities… and happy.
I’m not an idiot; I know our people are our happiness! But I am an introvert whose private world is delightfully intoxicating – in so many ways. And so I built my Gaddafi compound in a cave wallpapered with ideas. Like one way mirrors they let me see to infinity but only reflected outsiders back upon themselves. As an highly sensitive perfectionist, it’s that darned “happy” that’s been so elusive. And now that I’m nibbling on its edges, I have to admit that maybe I didn’t have to take my story to its all or nothing extreme. I was wrong. Big time. And I apologize to everyone that I love from the bottom of my heart.
When you dare to question your personal narrative, your most intimate story, dare to challenge it right down to its very core. With mindfulness brain training, you build an observer self right into your grey matter. And from this vantage point you can poke around safely without bringing your value or true identity into question. Withdrawing is my most shameful permission because shame is a social contract broken. When mindfulness is practiced with unrelenting compassion, in this case for self, shame and guilt are tools that inform us when we’ve deviated from clean energy flow – aka when we’ve f-ed up. With further meditation you can engage with your universal self and that’s one hell of a high.
So coming back to earth, how do you negotiate your permissions? One way is to go in hard and shake things loose by changing your behaviours brute force to see if a new story starts to take shape. Basically fake it till ya make it. I don’t have to fake loving my family and friends. I’m no Gaddafi – except for one day a month but he didn’t even have that excuse. But I do have to modify my priority scale now that I’ve got that framework I’d been dying, literally, to define. A group of wonderful gals need cards and two very special men are waiting for emails. And another man, my man, is waiting for the woman he loves to finally come back home.