That settles it! Someone emailed me this morning asking me a question that I’ve been considering since last night. Essentially, to bottom-line it, the individual is dealing with certain life challenges which (it sounds like) cause feelings of being alone and disconnected from the rest of the world. I was just reflecting upon this very thing myself last night with my own physical setback here, realizing how lonely it can be (if you let it) when you’re ill or sick. It feels very isolating–especially in my own case in that I could be contagious and purposefully avoid others and don’t blame people who would avoid me. ‘Shoe being on the other foot’, I’ve done the same thing. Someone coughs or sneezes or grabs for a tissue out in public, usually I’m the first one to go the other way.
But then again, this individual asks about deceit or pretending to be ‘normal’ like the others in the world (whatever normal means anyway) because the illness isn’t as obvious as a sneeze or cough. The person finds it easier to tell those white lies or fib a little about things link vocation/career and in all relationships with others feels ‘abnormal’ in the world whilst otherwise there are no outward signs to the contrary. Basically, the person asks me how I feel about this or if it were me how I’d handle it all. But before we go further….
Fair warning: I may ramble or meander being still under the influence of previous days worth of Benedryl and other such antihistamine and decongestant type drugs that my body ingested. Then after being ‘too far gone’ and letting this “head-cold turn spring allergy” get out of hand and grow into a monster with various heads, the busy doctor’s office finally fit me in and AZithromycin (aka Z-pac antibiotics) are now fighting the battle with me. So that’s why–I’m woozy and (until now) too ‘out of it’ to respond to email or sit at a computer in order to even focus long enough to blog or type anything meaningful. But if you hang in through this maybe we can come out the other side with something worth the writing for me and the reading for you.
Again, for clarity’s sake, the individual with the question does not have a physically contagious malady and in fact it is not anything obvious to the casual observer (according to their description), which honestly I imagine to be more difficult than otherwise. Why?
Because all expectations from society or ‘others’ in the world is that there exist in each life those common societal conditions considered to be ‘normal’. But either way, maybe with my own little condition here (temporary one hopes), there’s a little something within me that can qualify me to give an answer or insight, albeit a small one. After all, this is only a week for me whereas for this other individual, likely it’s been a lifelong issue.
But then again… well, wait. Let’s consider it. I think most of us spend our days here trying our best to feel normal and fit in and for the most part we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are. Others seem to accept our explanations of ourselves as we covey those lines that mean, “I’m just like you.” In fact, most of us probably do this more subconsciously than we realize.
I’ve long been aware of how I go ‘to the level of’ the person that I’m communicating with in order to establish a common thread in which to relate. Take, for example, people who have a Virgo-Victim type of work ethic in the world. You know the type. All they talk about is how many long hours they put in and how early they rise in the morning and how crazy their boss is and basically… well, you get the idea. You surely are not going to establish a common ground to relate to them by describing your life as one in which your values are totally different. For example, maybe you’ve learned a few things and one is to work smart and not long or perhaps you’ve inherited a lot of money that changed your previous work ethic Who knows why but let’s say that your life situation is totally different and doesn’t require those long hours. Or maybe you simply aren’t wired to work 14 hour days at Walmart — and I just made that up; not knowing how many hours Walmart employees work in a day. But you get the idea.
So are you being deceitful if your way of life is simply different (for various and sundery reasons) and…. well, here’s an example. Let’s say I used to have a job once upon a time like that one perhaps and so can honestly relate and say, “Whew honey! I hear ya’ sister. Been there done that!” So am in being deceitful? Or maybe I did some work for my own business in which I worked day and night without much rest (like when I created my first website). I was a self-employed task master! (sometimes being your own boss you can be more of a slave-driver than any outside employer). Either way, I can still relate and don’t have to feel dis-connected.
Well, okay. Maybe those are silly examples.
I think it’s more a matter of ‘taking it on’ in a way. In other words, helping the other person feel better about who they are by sort of pretending to meet their standards of how they see normal. It’s like playing their game with them so that they feel okay about who they are and what they’re doing.
Sort of like agreeing with a crazy person–why would you try to convince them that their not if they are? Now it’s true that they would think that it is ‘we’ who are the crazy ones when in fact it is ‘we’ who realize it is them!
Now who is crazy and who isn’t–pretty silly thing to speculate, right?
I don’t know if it’s best to pretend you are similar to others to help them feel okay if it makes you feel ‘not okay’. But then again. Whose to say whose crazy and who isn’t and whose okay and whose not?
The thing is that everybody is really alone with their own stuff and is pretending to be part of the conditioned society. Ever hear that story about the emperor who has no clothes?
Being different — you being the only one willing to admit the emperor guy is naked –can be a lonely place to stand BUT ONLY IF YOU LET IT. And that’s a key.
Got to toss in another one-liner and that’s the saying about feeling lonely in a crowd. I’d pose to the individual who emailed the question about feeling deceitful by pretending to be like the others who can brag or discuss their life because it’s more accepted by consensus society to consider that everybody feels that way at a core level but most people spend the majority of their life trying to ‘fit in’ and be like what the consensus standards dictate. Why do they do it? Not all, of course, but some are afraid to be different or not-accepted.
In the end, we are born alone and we die alone but now we’re here we are with others; yet each of us is unique and different while at the very exact same time, we’re all the same! A Zen riddle or a Paradox.
But most people don’t think about these things–too busy trying to fit in and make their mark or to achieve something to prove they are/were here. Not all, of course, we have others consumed with helping others in some way and doing it going to a selfless level and so they probably never consider these kinds of things. Good on them!
We’re all like that at times too of course. Maybe the thing to consider is that we’re not like all people at all times–we have some similarities to others, always. To find those and to relate to them is not being deceitful unless you believe it is.
Generally, ‘its a pickle’ as the saying goes. And how a person views a thing or an attitude or a life situation is a personal decision. I’ve felt like the outcast in my family and in any career or job I’ve held throughout my entire life and my work with intuition and astrology is fringe as compared to society at large.
I’ve not felt that separation from others so acutely until recently with regard to my health. I’ve been sick before with flu or respiratory symptoms–bronchitis or the flu but never before did I feel as alone or cut-off as this time. It was a different experience and one which has given me moments to pause, thinking toward the end-of-life scenario possibilities that we all face eventually.
What have those moments of pause revealed? One thing that comes to the fore is how precious life is and what a gift it is and the realization of how much of my life I’ve spent resisting the many gifts Life as offered me by worrying about things like the gosh darn bills that come in the mail every month and the monthly rent that’s due!
I’m nearing 68 years old which by today’s standards is still young but when I was a child that was really, really, really old! Anyway, life is more precious to me all the time and a few side trips into isolation from illness enabled me to have a preview of what my end days may be like. And I see how it is a choice.
Isolation (whether forced or imposed) and whether it comes from being the oddball in society in any way — be that way due to illness of any type of different-ness — is a gift really. Those feelings arising from that situation come to us as a catalyst to go within and reflect, resulting in the ability to make a choice as to whether or not we permit them to create a guilty state of being or a lonely state of being. Its a choice.
To the person making the inquiry, I’d add this To consider the fact that we (he/she and I) are aware enough to consider these matters is also a rare gift. And we can use the awareness to create (or ‘be’) an example in the world which is either positive or negative but either way which creates by its very nature “teaching moments” as the saying goes.
No, I don’t mean that we have to ‘spill it’ to people who don’t care or who are strangers. With those folks it’s probably best to play the game (pretend to be who they can most easily accept) in to help them (not ourselves) feel comfortable with interactions.
But to those who we do open up to and do reveal or expose ourselves, we do so and hope to create some awareness in those others or perhaps plant a seed in some way.
Is this making sense? I mean look at a physician, a doctor.. Is it appropriate for him to go around examining people when he’s at a picnic or at the gym doing his workout? The doctor doesn’t reveal himself when it’s not appropriate either. Would it not be the same with anyone else?
I am feeling a bit weary now being that the antibiotic and I are still ‘fighting the good fight’ as the saying goes. And the body is telling me to rest a bit now.
I don’t know if there may be a line here or a word or two here in what I’ve written today that is helpful to the email inquirer or to the casual reader of this blog. I can only hope.
Oh, and one thing that has come from my own recent challenge is that it has create a desire within me to ‘visit the sick’ in some way as a volunteer in the community. Now that I’ve had the personal experiences of how that feels–that loneliness of being sick–which I do not choose to entertain it (choice), it has inspired me to help others who may be feeling this alone feeling which I choose not to forget.
Anyway, I no longer volunteer at the soup kitchen (I lost my place with that when I moved) — this may be a way that I can do a little something on a volunteer basis again and I intend to look into it.
Perhaps, as a suggestion, the one who feels deceitful about their life could find (like me) something to do as a volunteer to help balance out those feelings.
Well, the person did write and asked me how I would handle it or what I would say about his/her “unveiling their true self to others”, using his/her words.
I will end this with the hope that there’s something within this post that you can use for your next step or as at least a partial answer to your question.
Another thought as I conclude, is that in some areas of my life, such as in places within my own control where i can keep a certain illusion of anonymity or where I feel there may be a greater acceptance, I tend to reveal quite a lot. Such as in my classes or in this blog, my website or weekly newsletter. There’s a time and place for everything. One has to ‘read’ the situation, become sensitive, and follow ones intuition about what to say to who and when about one’s identity. I always say the stomach or the ‘gut’ feelings can lead us to knowing when to speak and when to be quiet about ourselves.
I don’t tell every tom-dick-harry or man-on-the-street that I dig Divination, do Tarot, love Mysticism, Buddhism and Hinduism (a few of my interests) and that I do astrology or that I teach about intuition or ‘read’ energy for others. It’s still fairly well Fringe for the most part–I get that. Not everyone is going to understand I’m not in cahoots with “the devil” like one of my own sister’s believes! Also, one does have to maintain a certain sense of humor.
I’ve nearly worn myself out now… I think what helps is to try to remember that we’re all alone with who we are and our divine self, the one within and that nobody is ever going to ever fully understand us anyway–for me there’s a certain freedom in remembering that.
Time to lay the recovering body down a while for now….
Bottom line: All is Well and Exactly as it Should Be!