Sharing the View
TL;DR: Acknowledging to others that you see what they see so plainly about you takes courage to have integrity.
Originally Written: 15-Jun-2020
Word Count: 1627 / 6 minutes
Much ado ’bout nothing to me.
It is one thing to remark at individuals online and wonder if they are just posting a picture to feel like the people they spend so much time watching. Watching on their phones at home. Or at work. Or anywhere. On the grayest of days. Stuck in your trivial problems.
It’s another thing to wonder if maybe people just have a genuine interest in sharing the view. Perhaps it’s healthy to just appreciate the perspective of a person coming from a more privileged or well off place because how else are you going to know what life is like for them? How else do you wake up and recognize that everyone is smiling for the camera and feeling awkward all the same?
When someone is showing what they have for themselves right now to appreciate is something worth posting online, then there is something they value behind whatever the post. Even if they don’t see all of what they value when they are training at the gym, getting work done, and trying to look good just for those moments.
Life then becomes a game oriented toward peacocking and self adoration as we become more influenced to look at our bodies, accounts, and possessions as a means for adding new colours to our palette in order to pretty up an already overdone concoction of insecurities.
The circles of life you suddenly can go into within whatever realm you’re diving into becomes smaller and smaller. So much so that the elite who define ‘elite’ on their own terms and pretension such that no one knows if anyone is really in the club. Or was the whole point just to show who and what you stand in line for as you smile for the camera?
There’s more to a moment than what you can milk for social media points.
I have been victim to this myself in times of incredible physical vanity that I still cringe when I think about how self-involved I was. Given that, it took even longer for me to realize sharing oneself by default adds perspective to a conversation and even longer to then dial back the reins and realize I was oversharing myself. Oversharing in ways that dominated conversations, my platform, and thoughts. Things became so focused on the development of self that I missed sight of what self-work even was even for. I seemed so focused on personal growth I missed my sense of personal agency for my ego’s own megalomania. Damn.
But that is always a work in progress. The first step in working with your ego is acknowledging it even exists.
It’s more effective to ask yourself ‘How am I narcissistic?’ than to really entertain your own ego with the question ‘Am I?’.
Fuck no says the ego’s first response. Don’t self reveal silly! That leaves you open for attack to admit flaws and weakness!
No. No it doesn’t. In fact, life’s shiniest moments are in the first seconds after the self-effacement that comes with acknowledging your own rock bottoms. They become a floor you stand on and reflects a distinction in how things are going to be for yourself.
Catching a read of yourself as self-involved at times enables you to get more in line with what everyone else sees about you and fosters integrity in ways you cannot imagine. It’s taking responsibility for when you create friction and saying ‘yep guys, that big one was me right there’ and they will all resoundingly and exasperatingly gasp as they say ya think?
But then life moves on! Life isn’t a big deal when we are being an asshat because we can all be asshats. The fastest way to remove a hat is to acknowledge you’re wearing one and it looks silly on you, always. Everyone will be overjoyed when they see such distinctions for yourself because they will see you being more of your best intentions instead showing you have an ego by projecting projections proactively about whatever is about to be said.
No one is anticipating your next moves. At least not like that. As an aside, it’s nuts to think I held on to such a perspective for so long. People just want to connect and share what they see of a moment, a thing, a show, a noun.
Whatever. That is what we call relating with each other.
Relating on our experience of life.
Validating is not Relating
It’s taken me a long time to stop relating my experience of life to myself.
We can relate just about any subject to ourselves if we can find enough bridging sentences, but you lose a lot of people when they see you trying to lower that bridge to get them to go for another long drive through your island of entrapment and wonder. Your life is not an island destination for people to drive around and remark at and peruse. It is not a place for people to come and buy your experiences and tell you what a fantastic job you did with the place. It is only meant for visiting.
It has been hard getting over realizing I do not exist to be there for someone else but to be there for myself. People are not to be made of service but to be made into even finer individuals in their next steps. I feel I was raised to be the giving tree and a stump is what I was by the time I had accomplished all my goals of childhood.
I did not grow to become a flowering tree, I had diminished myself into being the lowest common denominator I had striven to avoid: consumed.
It doesn’t matter if your life started out a little shitty and it just took a while for everyone else to catch up to the smell. Life isn’t about giving you a platform just to say how much you’re right about yourself and the world. It’s about connecting with others and relating on your experiences as human so you can feel as human as possible because you’re human!
Every breathing thing that isn’t a plant is an animal. But even plants have empathy.
It’s a little unnerving to know that the smell of fresh cut grass is really a stress response in the plants that just had their structural integrity compromised. Anyway. Everything has needs deficient to something.
We are all climbing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on a daily basis trying to self-actualize. The world, society, culture, our systems, and processes then create the ceilings for the misfortunate and the floors for the privileged to experience life with as we navigate the guard rails and stay off the cliffs of life that we fear create no turning back for ourselves. But the guard rails just prevent us from getting to our experience faster (albeit with friction). Rules keep us from helping each other, they keep me from thinking being myself at times enough to see others as just as needy as myself at times.
It doesn’t matter where you fall on the pyramid and whether you feel more or less equipped than others. You are an animal and you must survive first and foremost. Next comes the survival of your ideas of safety, belonging, esteem, and transcendence, but you need to walk them in order.
Thirsty much? Take a drink then!
When you are trying to self-actualize and you haven’t been taking care of yourself, you look thirsty. Want a drink?
Everyone can see when you are thirsty. So take a drink when it is offered to you, but then try to stay hydrated next time honey.
The world does not have time to stop and give you something to drink whenever you’re feeling thirsty and part of adulting is learning how to mature and graduate to achieving a higher order of needs by creating the necessary structure underneath it to support it.
You don’t build a skyscraper in, say, San Francisco and not go down to bedrock. Unless you’re the architect for the Millenium Tower that is. But if you are building a huge skyscraper of meaning for yourself in life then you need to properly support it. Otherwise, what ends up happening, is you have to go back down to bedrock. To go all the way back to the basics so you can reverse engineer what will ultimately cost way more than what you would have paid if you planned accordingly.
Failure to plan is planning to fail. In absence of a plan, everything achieved in relation to our true north in the current moment has been accidental at best. Plans are what create purpose toward your desires, but if you make room for only work offices in your life then you do not make much room for others to come and really experience the view. Life is about sharing the view, remember?
We’re all just a bunch of highly organized atoms manifesting some of the bullshit we call life for each other. It’s fucking nuts, but that is why it is important to remember to leave your ideas about building skyscrapers and go to the beach every now and then when the weather is calling for it. Save your ideas of grandeur for a rainy day and you’re actually bored about what to talk about.
Otherwise, they take a back seat from now on so I can see them in the rear-view mirror where I can keep an eye on them.
That’s my view right now, I’ll let you know what I see when I get to my next stop on the road of self-actualizing after refueling first and getting something to drink.
You thirsty? I can get you something if you ask.