The essential self needs the ability to reflect, however, the way we feel about ourselves colors that reflection. So if a fruitless character trait, ingrained over years of use and misuse, weirdly appears whenever you don’t want it to, coloring a too sensitive lens, reflection becomes skewed. The result is not a state of truth, but rather a more self-centered degrading state, from a life long trait staying despite efforts, at a crossroad of needed change.
“Why me?” retorts provide opening to reflective counter arguments of silent discussions that have no audience, but in one’s mind’s eye seeks to answer the frustrations swirling over and over, rehearsing right voice.
Although time-consuming, reflection becomes the only process that leads to a safer personal space after the wrenching moments of fearful regret that forebodes being turned out.
Searching for breadth to hope.
Social norms shape responses, prohibiting truth because people act within the confines of polite virtue, especially when they want others to like them, or give them something. Fear of failure, rejection or loss outweighs celebrating a true self in these moments, especially when weakened by lack of sleep, rest and basic nourishment. No one values a good “f— you” at the expense of propriety. Society directs us to embed maneuvering through the social protocols as a means of survival. Yet in the end, this strategy lessens the ability to follow through on the things that make you happy.
The work-shoppers, a collection of self-seekers, who pretext their actions with justifications of uplifting themselves to be more of service, in truth only act and move the discourse when it elevates their positioning. Their strategic anecdotes move into the arena to seize the opportunity to tell a story of self, the subtext of which is a maneuvering of power. Stories, moving audiences to some great emotional finale of a lesson learned, only pit one against another with competing emotional narratives tuning to the pulse of repression and gross rights violations. After these types of performances, dogmatic dialogues prevail because no one dares to mention how the fabrication is just that – fabricated to manipulate people to some end. It is always about power for work-shoppers.
How did I get here?
I daydream at these points. Competing for attention only reminds me of a youth I rejected. So for survival, my attention diverts to understanding character, and how they fit into the play. Their lives become part of a script, which in the stage directions describes the way they wear their shoes, hold arms folded, or purse lips, listening, but always thinking of the next thing to say. Or the ones whose silence waits to find strained comfortability, yet still struggles in the way they hold their bodies, hearing the quiver in their tempered words, always seemingly working toward mastery, yet continually uneasy, with what feels like slight emotional instability. The work-shoppers become part of a scene, only a glimpse in time. People sacrificing for a check in their bank. I see the scene unfold, and predict the end.
I am a narrator, crafting a monologue of my reflection to divert to some distant place, searching for who I am.
The workshop facilitator explains, in squint and exhorts great excitement, to awaken interests with stories of leading the ship in treacherous waters of data, while riding the waves between the symbolic and the theoretical, and then gliding into the sunset, along to real world applications, always linking back to theory, then forward with personal quips and quivers for dramatic effect. Like a yo-yo, up, down, in, and out, moments pass: the process repeating each week, after week, into months. The work-shoppers, some tried by their own process, yet there’s always that ‘one’ who continues to maneuver.
I feel like a camera.
Processing so many stories dizzily jams my elder brain, which weighs priorities differently; knowing in the end, nothing really changes. Days provide dull light with faint overviews of what feels like a hangover from working overtime into the early morning hours, alone with my stories. monologuing in my head.
People will perform in what ever manner that provides the best path of least resistance. Power, privilege, and authority drive the soul of the go-getter – the work-shopper – only to find that something can be anything if you can hold your head high.
In the end tho, we only have ourselves. The goal is to live without regret.