Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No More Pretzel

There is someone in my life with whom I have a strained relationship. I wish it were easier and, believe me, I have tried everything I know to do to make it better. The thing is, the efforts I have made had---truth be told---been aimed at trying to change this person. If I just find the right words, or do this or stop doing that, then.....well, then I can make this person change. You can probably see the futility in this plan. When I finally saw my attempts for what they were, something shifted in me. We cannot change another person, only ourselves. So my focus shifted to what I needed to do to tend to myself. No sense twisting myself into a pretzel when all I end up with is twistiness. One more thing about this: my next thought after the initial insight was that I ought to let this person know that I would be changing my approach but DUH! that would just be another attempt at trying to change someone else. Instead, what feels true and right and strong is to simply live my own change. AHHHH.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Look at ME

What are you flaunting today? Is it your gorgeous legs, your after-baby, bikini body or your stunning abs?  Last week, Kate Middleton flaunted her cleavage at the Olympic Games and the same week several actors were flaunting their after-workout buns.  These folks may or may not have been aware of flaunting anything but "flaunt" is the media's favorite, descriptive word these days.  I think it suits, as it reflects the time we live in, an age of narcissism.

At various times, a dominant way of behaving seems to define an era.  Social and sexual repression in the Victorian age, depression in the first half on the last century (two world wars and the actual Depression) prevalence of anxiety in the second half.  And now we have arrived at narcissism. Our heroes, like Madonna or Lady Gaga, are show-offs, our kids want to be famous without accomplishing anything, we tell the world everything about ourselves through social media. It is an age in which we worship and promote the self, live under constant demand to do better, to produce more, to beat out others, to be beautiful, to be rich, to make ourselves projects and our children idols.  Our external lives are everything; our neglected, internal lives painfully confused; but who cares about that.

Makes me kind of miss those long, long ago ages; sitting around the fire roasting some humongous, freshly clubbed thing. No one caring how you looked as you chomped down on the day's achievement.You didn't live long, of course, but you had lots of company and very little washing up to do. And as for flaunting ...