Saturday, November 19, 2011

On Seesaws.

From my last entry on the Greatest Commandmentit made me think more about this balance of Love. Like a fat kid on a seesaw, I find myself sitting heavily on one end more so than another. The balance, that is, between loving one self and thy neighbor. I sit of course at the oh so familiar altruistic end of the seesaw. Neglecting the very necessity of loving one self. 

I do this a little bit too often. I am a people whore. I tell myself that I'm this closet introverted individual but for all those that know me, this cannot and will never be true. I enjoy far too much the conversations I share with people. Whether the interaction is with a stranger or a lover. People matter so much to me. Call it compassion, call it martyrdom. I would do anything for those that I love. And heck, even for those that I don't. Part of it in hopes to gain favor. Other times in fear of losing them. The majority part of it though, I would to believe, is purely for the exchange that comes from sharing our selves. My father made a living of studying people. This was easy for him because he attracted everyone and anyone he came encounter with. His charisma was contagious. I'd like to believe that some of his spirit and curiosity of human behavior in part runs through me. This love for people. It's fascinating. But is it healthy? Depends. On the level of permeability. 

I know that, although we may share in these enticing interaction with others, there is an importance to the boundaries we make for ourselves and understand that my identity is of my own and separate from those I am with. I just think I may be a bit more permeable than others. While others are fenestrated, I may be a bit more discontinuous. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that are so engrossed with what stares back at them in that mirror. Narcissism isn't as cute as much as it may be as it is to the beholder. Arrogance is even uglier. This notion that "if I am to survive in this world, this would be of my doing. And mine alone". We tell ourselves that we must be able to do everything and anything on our own. Yes, I agree with you that it originates from within. But it does not sustain with us alone. Arrogance can only protect us from so much from the failures and distractions of others that may come from involving others. In a weird way, it this M.O. is actually very responsible. Trying to find mechanisms to protect one's emotional and mental assets. Yet, so shortsighted and unbecoming at the same time.

This used to be my life mantra. My mother raised me to think only as this. As a single mother, single person. She believes, as do I to some extent, that the only person that can 'save me' is me. This is true. To some extent. We can survive on your own but life shouldn't be about trying to stay above water. There is something about the process of extending ourselves to another or with others that make our existence mean so much more than about mere survival. I believe that knowing and accepting our shortcomings and this process of sharing these with others to help strengthen, challenge, support, and evolve to be the best forms of ourselves, is [life].  

It's all about balance. A balance between solitude and solidarity. Between courage and arrogance. Between the most superficial and more profound. There exists a yin and a yang for everything and for good reason. I found myself recently pushed and pulled in both directions. Favoring of course the act of loving another. This unfortunately begets failure when or if that love flees. And without a sustaining substance to anticipate the loss, we are empty. On the other end, there is also this emptiness that we feel when we attempt to protect ourselves from the world alone. I believe it is in this balance that we both need: the love for ourselves and the love for others to sustain. If only there was this homeostasis to the soul that can mediate the imbalance between the two. Baroreceptors of the soul would make this life so much easier, balancing this seesaw we always find ourselves at.

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