Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Kick in the Head

The timing would feel like a random reaching out of a kind of karma-skew. The event would feel like a kick in the head.

Whenever I would start to feel secure, the world would come along and smack me down firmly. It was not at times when I was wildly self-involved or over the top with ego. Then I deserve a wake up call. Bring on the proverbial kick in the head to say, "Hey you! Pay attention. THIS planet revolves around the SUN, not YOU."
That would make sense to me.

I'm thinking of times when I feel contentment, those rare moments when my skin seems to fit just right. The world looks beautiful, and people seem to be the best species God could have created. I let down my guard and start to enjoy being alive. That's when someone looks for something to misunderstand, when out of nowhere I'm told I’m a despicable human being, or I find out that something I did, which was fine when I was less happy with life, was now hideously, offensively, and appallingly inconsiderate.

I used to buy into to it, particularly when the response came from a group. I could never figure out the reasoning behind it, but I would take on the blame just as I take on lif--completely and with my whole heart. I'd go about trying to fix myself, knowing it I'd be a better person for the effort.

Curiosity and self-preservation led me to keep on the look out. Like an overgrown puppy in a china shop, I didn't want to break anything else. I started to notice the pattern. It took years of living before I was convinced that the trigger to this sort of event was an expression of joy on my par--sometimes the feeling of joy. Still ever ready to take the blame, I thought it must be something about how I express my happiness that is just wrong. I must be bringing this on myself.

Of course, I also got gun shy about trusting my own good feelings. It didn't feel like that was how it's supposed to be. On the other hand, a good kick in the head, doesn't feel like that is how it's supposed to be either.

Finally I got to an age where I gained a little sense. I quit taking the blame for everything on the planet. My skin seemed to fit just fine most of the time. I realized that I was a best judge of my behavior, and most importantly, that I was cheating myself if I didn't enjoy--note to self: see the big word joy inside that verb--every second of contentment this planet has to offer. I quit flinching at my own happiness. I went back to thinking that the world is beautiful and that people are the best species God ever created. I still take a kick in the head now and then, but I've changed my response to "Hey, what were you thinking? Why would you want to kick me?"

Luke says that it probably won't make me feel better, but this sort of thing happens to everyone. He says that some folks just can't stand to see anyone happy. He's wrong on one point. It does make me feel better. It'
s nice to know that it's not about me.

Some things are easier if you know you're not alone.

As for folks who can’t stand to see me happy--they are welcome to their misery.

—me strauss


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