I debated whether or not to write this week. I have another guest article ready to go and could have used it this weekend. I was feeling raw and sad and drained and disappointed. I was thinking it would be best not to write in this condition. One person commented on an article of mine once, that I should change the column title to ‘This Wonderful Life’ instead of ‘This Rocky Life’ because the topics were getting too negative. Other people say the articles are too positive. Others judge, when they read something that I have written about. No matter what, I can’t win, so I may as well just be real, instead.
There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with situations where there is a clear division of opinions and variations of stories. He said, she said, I meant, you implied, I assumed, you did this; I intended that… can all be very confusing and draining. When you ask one person, they heard this or said that. Another person said that or heard this. By the end of it, everything is a huge mess.
Human nature is to defend our position. We gather research, facts, data, evidence and proof of our version of events. Depending on our ability to investigate and our experience with this, we can create a very compelling record of what took place. We can screenshot, record, jot down, itemize and recall the events until we are blue in the face. On the other side of the situation, the other person is doing the same.
It becomes toxic, unhealthy, upsetting, and frustrating. It can make us disappointed in the human race, sorry for all of the people involved and unfortunate, on so many levels. It becomes difficult to trust, we become ingrained in our beliefs and so determined to be right that we drag others along the way, kicking and screaming, having them take sides, resulting in their own toxic pot of soup, boiling in their belly. This makes me so sad.
If I was being real right now, I would say that our own ability to handle stress is at the root. When we are overwhelmed, overworked, not feeling well, dealing with difficult life events, overloaded and overscheduled, our ability to tolerate additional stress, for any reason, becomes reduced. We are more likely to lose our patience, snap at loved ones and say and do things differently than we would have otherwise, because we are not at our best.
All I know is that when we become overstressed, we become miserable, disconnected, difficult to reason with, at odds in our relationships and uncomfortable to be around. We are not who we really are. We are not approachable. We are not inviting. Then, when we intersect with others who trigger us, fuel our insecurities, cross us, look at us crooked or cause us added stress, we are likely to unravel.
I am sure that we would all love to be able to say that we are perfect human beings, who are always in control of ourselves, our emotions, our words and our actions but we all have limits, boundaries and lines. When these are breached, it is anyone’s guess what we might do. We might say things we don’t mean, make decisions we might otherwise not make, take actions that, in hindsight, were not actually in our best interest.
If I was being real right now, I would say that most of us are human beings with limitations. We are not perfect. Neither is anyone else, despite their attempts to convince us. When we can be real with each other and not pretend or put on a façade of what we are, compared to what we want to portray ourselves as, the world would be a more loving, kind, giving, helpful, hopeful, inspiring and peaceful place.
Maybe when we start being real, instead of defending our positions, being incongruent on the outside, compared to what we feel on the inside, having to watch what we say and do for fear of repercussions and allowing ourselves to truly embrace, experience and express our pain, our sorrows, our woes or our struggles, we will communicate better, reach out more often, make amends, connect with others and develop true relationships, that are based in reality, and not an illusion.
Instead, maybe we wouldn’t retreat, when we need support. Maybe we wouldn’t attack, when we are hurt. Maybe we wouldn’t push people away, when we really need them. Maybe we wouldn’t defend, when we really need to learn. Maybe we wouldn’t give up, when we need to press on. Maybe we wouldn’t become who we are not. Maybe, we would just be real, with ourselves and each other. Maybe then, we can heal.