I've been writing this post in my head for a few weeks.
I kept thinking, as I turned it around and around, that I would have some giant breakthrough and that touted "A-Ha!" moment that I've heard about.
I have actually had several of those, and I never stop being surprised at the constantly changing life I live.
Originally I was going to talk about the way that, when you step back from a situation - really step back - that you are then able to see things for what they actually are, instead of the colored versions that your heart and logic and experience and passions present up close. The way that something that you've believed to be true in the deepest, darkest part of your heart is something very different once it's stripped down and naked.
Maybe someone you loved isn't at all the person you believed them to be. Maybe someone you thought you were over has crept their way back into your thoughts. Maybe something you did that made sense at the time seems ridiculous in retrospect. Or someone you count as a friend, or a leader, is someone from whom you can learn a wholly different, and unwelcome, set of skills.
What I am finding, though, is that we have a way of manifesting a truth for ourselves that makes it so much easier to justify our actions and decisions. And the more reality rears its ugly head, the more adept we become and changing not only our perceptions, but absolute and total faith in something that suits our needs until our life is nothing but a carefully orchestrated facade. How many people know the real me? How many people really know you?
All of the above things have happened to me in recent weeks. People I thought I knew well, I do not know at all. It is alarming, the contrast between my perception and their reality.
Something I did that seemed perfectly logical - now - is an embarassment. (And no, I am not talking about my tattoo. I still love it.)
Sometimes skewed perceptions are necessary. They help us cope. They help us forgive ourselves, and others. But they are no longer harmless when they negatively affect how we treat the people around us. We forget those who really love us because we are fixated on the one we can't have...simply because we cannot have them. We fail to see our blessings because we focus on desires that aren't met. On some level, we even realize this. We then feel self-pity, self-loathing, and that translates into self-destruction that in the end hurts the very people we don't see.
I wanted to have a conclusion to this that would change people. Make them stop and think about their actions, their beliefs, their silly made-up realities. I don't think I've gotten there yet. What I do have is an understanding that I have been just as guilty as the people I have shaken my head at in frustration.
The only thing left to do, then, is to try to see things as they actually are, no matter how heinous the effect, in the hope that I will not miss the things that I've been missing in my delusional little life.
It is unfortunate that it's taken me 39 years to get to this point. And I'm not even sure I'm where I need to be. But for now at least, I can see the ugly truth.
And what surrounds it is beautiful. It's real, and it's mine. It's me.
19 hours ago