It is almost impossible for me to not live solely inside my own mind, which is understandable I guess. I mean, I am me and my thoughts and feelings are always going to play a part in how I live and view the world around me. It will also change my perception of things that happen to those I care about – and maybe not for the good.
You see, societal norms tell us we need to act a certain way when tragedy strikes, but our gut reaction is to act the opposite – unless of course you’re Mother Theresa in training. For the rest of us our first thought is ‘oh lord I was going to (enter plans) and now I’m going to have to comfort (enter family members), shit’.
Or maybe it’s just me…
But I’m going to assume someone else out there has had that kind of thought, if for no other reason, than to feel okay about myself. Thankfully, I have become aware of such selfish, self-centered, bitchy thoughts so I can get rid of them before I say something that reveals them to those around me.
It’s hard, though, because even when I do say the right things – the unselfish things – somewhere in the back of my mind I’m thinking ‘maybe they won’t take me up on my offer to help, to be there, to do whatever’, not because it would be that hard, but it would be an inconvenience.
This person is going through unimaginable pain and grief and I’m worried about being inconvenienced. I’ll just say it, ‘what an asshole’ and yet I know I’m not the only one because I’ve been around people who can’t stop themselves before they reveal their true thoughts and feelings. The sad part is that they’re not even aware of how they’re being and how incredibly hurtful and sad it is.
It’s not that I’m a bad person – or anyone else – for not wanting our lives to be disrupted. It’s human and I’m sure those directly effected by the tragedy didn’t want it to happen either even when their poor decision-making skills led directly to said tragedy.
That’s being human too…
I know there are things I’ve said and done that could have led to some bad, bad things which I somehow avoided. And for that I am extremely thankful. I also learned from them. Some people have a harder time with the learning part.
But that’s on them, not me or you or anyone else. My part is to be there when those closest to me need help back up. My part is to forget about me for a little while so I can return the favor that a few have given me – non-judgmental support until I can stand on my own again. We all need a reminder once in a while of how tough we really are and that while shit happens it usually gives us a break once we’ve gone through it for a while.
I can’t do that if I only think about myself and how the shit happening only affects me. So I practice forgetting about me so I can be ready when someone needs me, because I know how much that is lacking in our world today – notice I said few earlier when I was talking about non-judgmental support.
So here’s to forgetting about me and concentrating on what I can do for someone else!
Who’s with me?