Context is...
Thinking You're In First


TL;DR: You're so far behind you think you're...

  • Originally Written: 13-May-2022

  • Word Count: 1028

  • Read Time: 6 minutes

  • Readability Score: 75 (7th Grade)


Picture this.

You make an ass out of yourself in front of people you respect in a moment of self-righteousness to demonstrate how 'woke' you are.

Between the two following outcomes to this scenario, which is worse?

Your choices for how to proceed are to either to get face-to-face feedback in the moment on how silly you're being or to come to the realization a year later while in the middle of a shame spiral.

For many people, including myself, we find ourselves stuck in a predicament of choice during tough moments where people are showing themselves as relentlessly swinging their ego around.

Including myself.

The buster sword is no better metaphor for the sheer weight of this bravado.

If I can step outside myself for even a second, it must suck having to give feedback to a person like me.

So 'right' in their convictions that they don't even see themselves as wanting the same things as others at times.

We all crave what we desire and I can be a fool to my own cause when I demonstrate myself as a jester to ideas over being the collaborator to a cause of something greater than themselves.

When we take things personally, we make our worlds smaller and never bigger.

Always. No hyperbole.

It is literally the ego forcing us to take a sharp turn inward regardless of the contexts we are in and be selfish to the cause of what beckons us into action.

What forces us to take things so personally?

Our values.

Our values are what we stare at with thirsty, blood-shot eyes as we step into our decisions and flip the coin of chance on our way to what we declare as our goals.

If our values are a compass, our goals are a destination on a map.

If your goals are in alignment with your values, you may well find yourself near where you're looking to be.

If, however, your goals are not in alignment with your values, then disappointment is all that awaits.

You are, in effect, driving to San Francisco from the East Bay and decided to skip all bridges and freeways to get there.

When we skip out on what would otherwise connect us with each other, we make getting to the same destination even harder to get to.

Or we don't at all.

We get frustrated and quit before we even make it onto the peninsula.

Or, worse, we never leave the house of our minds enough to even start the car and get going.

We don't even bother.

So we miss out.

We miss out on smiles. On memories. On life, really.

We become a victim to our own experience of life as cold, lonely, and arduous.

We perpetuate the cuts in our deepest wounds, prying open scars just to see if something is there.

Or perhaps something is there and we're addressing the cause with means no longer serving us.

Maybe it just needed a little bit of ointment instead of an outright surgical strike. Eh?

Regardless, when we perpetuate such things and find ourselves walking in circles, it's time.

Time to declare ourselves as, once again, a fool to their own thoughts.

In that, there's wisdom.

Wisdom is found where we look for it.

It is different than knowledge. Way different.

Knowledge is having a big sword to swing. Ooh la la!

Wisdom is knowing when and where to actually wield it. Au contraire!

It is the product of applying knowledge and reflecting in a way meaningful to something greater than ourselves so we can be greater to ourselves and others in the next step we take.

Or in fewer than it usually takes, if getting back on track sooner than later can be a problem for you.

You know what I mean.

In so doing, selfish desires dissolve and the needs of the group, family, or something even greater, emerge.

It's not about you.

It's never about you.

Unless, of course, you make it about you.

Then, in that case, it's all about you honey.

If life is a catwalk, then the lights we see are what get shown back to us from others.

We are all mirrors to each other.

Given that, the brightness of your life is ultimately a product of the backwards law.

The more we seek to brighten things and put a shine on them, the more gray we inject into the big picture. In fact, it also shows others where our fears are when we get too specific with what we expect.

Specifications are good where they count, not in matters people or personal. There is no faster way to dull your experience of life than by comparing what you are experiencing with... well... anything.

We use these specifications to declare ourselves as 'better' than others in the moment, but we are not. In fact, it is the use of these specifications that is the very cause of the suffering we endure when we feel we are not enough or living up to a standard we hold ourselves to.

Applying specificity in life is how we frame our own disappointments and dim the shine of ourselves and others as well. It's applying a standard on a way of being onto others in a way that is controlling.

This is different from sharing ourselves in a way that is vulnerable and true to the cause of values related to connection, compassion, and honesty. Coming from a place of our own needs and feelings is how we guide others back to the person called 'me' so that we can therefore be 'us' again.

The more we seek to brighten ourselves, the more we see the brightness around us, through us.

Being open and sharing ourselves in ways that demonstrate humility, especially in ways that help others see it is okay to get off of one's own pedestal at times, is how we enact changes in our lives.

The drive isn't going to get any easier by waiting for self-driving cars to figure their shit out.

I could be wrong, though.

Wouldn't be the first time.

Certainly, won't be the last.