True Lies wasn’t just the title of the hit Schwarzenegger 90’s action movie, it’s something to ponder. I’ve posed this question previously in this forum, but isn’t the best way to lie to yourself and others with at least a kernel of perceived truth? I can tell you from a comedic standpoint, that a writer can write some asinine crap and have people believe it if only it sounds plausible.
This illustrates a more serious point for our internals we deal with daily. Sure, we can always fool ourselves no matter how diligently we meditate. Sometimes this is the Universe’s best way to teach us as we unravel the layers of our psyche while living our lives. “What would an angel say, the devil wants to know?” (Fiona Apple—Criminal) Fiona raises some naughty, but interestingly incisive questions in this rocking song.
Everyone is discovering new layers of old issues right now, if you’re paying the least bit of attention. This is regardless of where you are in your journey. Much of this layered discovery is due to the tumultuous times we find ourselves in. Feel for the truth in this statement before proceeding with this reading.
Let’s explore some of the ways we may lie to ourselves. Yes, it’s possible to gaslight yourself. Can’t blame everything on the narcissists as much as our knees may jerk in their direction. (I’ve taken portions of the remainder of this paragraph from @anamarialifecoach on Instagram.) “Maybe it’s all in my head, I shouldn’t feel this way, I shouldn’t be upset, I’m sure they didn’t mean it, and I don’t deserve to be happy.”
What’s happening with the statements in the previous paragraph? The short answer is it’s the act of being dismissive with yourself. Nine out of ten psychologists agree that the worst form of abuse is neglect. (I don’t know if this is an actual statistic, but it sounded like a zippy toothpaste commercial in my head.) Now, most of us, even if we’re a wallflower, won’t deal with someone who is dismissive. Heck, I haven’t been back to a local fast-food place, as much as I love their chicken fingers, since the owner upcharged me for a drink I didn’t order and walked off. No plans to go back as long as he owns it. He can keep his chicken fingers that must have been touched by angels. A fountain drink with a cost of ten cents can be very expensive from a certain point of view. I won’t take that crap from that guy over there, so why should I take crap from me ignoring me?
Back to the point @anamarialifecoach had to say on this subject: Remind yourself, as often as it takes, that, “My experiences are real and valid, if it’s sticking with me, then it must be a trigger, even if they didn’t mean it meanly, it still hurt, and my past mistakes don’t define my future.”
I’ll say it like this. Invite every aspect of yourself to the party in your heart. I’ll keep harping on this one point to remind myself and our readers that love is all-inclusive. Yeah, we certainly want the cool kid, life-of-the-party guy to come to the soiree, but we’ll have to invite the geeks and freaks too. Diversity has its challenges, but it’s worth it. In the end, you’ll need to invite the bigoted part of yourself as well. Invite that girl who’s constantly in denial too. Invite the whiners and those annoying people that can’t handle their wine, much less their liquor. Beckon those from their endless, self-righteous quest of being right. Invite the vigilante, for vigilance is best in such times. Invite the glutton that’s going to clean out all the chips and dip before the rest of us has a bite. Invite the criminal, for all they “need is a good defense”. In short, where you feel shame, is an opportunity to heal and grow.
Is what I am proposing here a bridge too far? Fortunately, we’re not talking about Operation Market Garden right before Germany’s last gasp that was the Battle of the Bulge. We are talking about our blessed internals. For if we can heal our own selves on the reg, can we not extrapolate to the rest of the world. It begins with local politics—always. Just by offering a seat at the table of shame, without playing musical chairs,
How many if’s does it take to see yourself in a new, better-adjusted reality? Choose to believe in the power of if. Dare to ask the if questions. Sometimes, just by asking the question, if, is all it takes to bust that bunker mentality. After that, there is no ceiling, but you’ll know where the floor is. Star Trek asked if it’s the franchise can do better and responded with the best of themselves in nearly sixty years of education and entertainment. Strange New Worlds with Captain Pike in the captain’s chair proves old doesn’t mean worn out. Sometimes it takes decades to flesh out the meat of the matter. That’s okay, we’ll all see the finish line in our own ways.
In closing, I’m choosing to see the truth in the lies we’ve all swallowed at one point in time or another. It’s as good of a starting point as any. I believe there’s always a choice to be made even in the face of a seemingly no-win scenario (Kobayashi Maru for you Trekkies out there). That said, I choose to live in a world where facades are crumbling. How else can you “be redeemed to the one you’ve sinned against”?
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our readers. I received my first letter after my last column, “Changing of the Guard.” It feels good getting feedback. As to that kind feedback, I have a couple of corrections to “Changing of the Guard.” Sgt. Major Martinez was the first male First Sergeant to lead a female recruit company and not the first male drill instructor to lead female recruits. Female recruits have been led by male drill instructors since at least the Korean War. Also, the Marine Corps slogan should have read, “No greater friend, no worse enemy.” Thanks so much and please feel free to write to us at Lowcountry Weekly with respectful comments, questions, and even suggestions for future columns. Much love and appreciation.