Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Change and Evaluation

What to do when I don't feel like I measure up to someone else? And not just meet them in some place as equals...but exceed? (and no, I'm not talking about anatomy here) In my life, I have always been driven to succeed, overcome and excel above and beyond the competition.

But is this all a competition? What is it about when two people encounter each other. I know as a man, I start evaluating, comparing, measuring, counting with my ears and eyes. It is not about status or winning, but more about self worth. Do I really have to justify myself, to myself, in someones eyes in order to accept the friendship they offer freely? What is this struggle to be more, have more, seem more capable and successful?

I think it is a defense mechanism. Something that I do to make up for what I perceive and areas I lack, or places I should be from, materialism I should participate in more, an effort to appear more successful. But I already really like myself.

Or do I? I seem to be so content, until a different set of eyes looks at me, and then suddenly I am back pedaling in order to be more me, larger than life, better, faster, more good, more secure. And yet...I am drawn to weakness, softness. The differentness that in many ways I feel that I lack or need to cultivate in myself.

I spent some time this weekend with a new person in my life, that has somehow altered my thinking. Not just the person, but the time spent. Connection and conversation. Being my authentic self, without reservation or editing. Just me.

And it was ok, accepted and affirmed.

I fought and struggled at first against just relaxing into the space of another person's gentle scrutiny of my life and then just opened my hand, my heart and head...and was me. I have yet to experience that simple decision and sharing of myself more than two other times in my life.

And it felt good. Two people truly meeting in a safe place and sharing life and story.

I wasn't the winner. I did not measure up. In fact my efforts in life paled in comparison to the amazing strength and courage displayed by another persons story. I didn't have more than them, or overcome more than they, in fact, I seemed pretty immature to myself. And it was just fine.

A good piece of advice I gathered was,"Get over yourself." And also, "Get out of your own way."

I am not sure what that means yet, but I am considering it over these holidays. I am still squirming about not holding more power in this new friendship and know that I will need to put that to rest on some way, with myself and with them. Simple honesty will be more than enough to cover it. But I am just a little happy and excited...tempered with caution, as I approach the now.

1 comment:

  1. The advice is sound, I think, to "get over yourself." I have spent way too long thinking about nobody but me, and that is not good. With a little hindsight, I realize that life is bigger and more complex and more interesting than than my own complex identity. I've recently had a desire to start investing in the lives of other people, to make people feel better, to listen to their stories, and to try to get out of my own, to some degree. It's not easy.

    The truth is, there is more to life than trying to be in touch with my every thought and feeling. (Not that that's a bad thing, but come on, we have lots of time to think about nobody but ourselves, and that can be dangerous.) This is where I think it's important to start looking how best I can help somebody else. Because if I wait for all my problems to go away first, I'm gonna be waiting a long long time.......