A dear friend of mine, who is largely why this blog still exists despite a writer who believes that she is incapable of writing anything worthwhile, sent me an article recently published in the Huffington Post. I’ve never read the Huffington Post so I have no idea what kinds of articles they publish in general, but this seemed to be a bit of an editorial on the danger of taking ourselves- and our work- too seriously. It’s by Thomas Moore, and you can read it here.
Anyway, in the article, Moore says that “Seriousness without fun is the sign of an exaggerated ego.” Now, I’ve never seen myself as having any kind of an ego because I always associated ego with narcissism and I have more self loathing than you can fit into a football stadium. But if I remember what one of my mentors Freud said about ego being simply an extension of self, one that houses conscious awareness, than I can see Moore’s point.
I am definitely aware. Ridiculously aware. Of my mistakes, my downfalls, my failures, my shortcomings. So aware, in fact, that I often lose sight of everything else. I get stuck there, I live there, I set up house there. And all the facts that may contradict that little dark hole I’ve dug myself into go by without notice.
I’ve been reminded of some of those facts recently. Not by huge, grandiose events but rather by small, simple reminders. Reminders of “Yes, your friends are pretty damned cool.” And “Yes, you are very loved.” And “Your house is pretty nice and your car has working AC.” And “Isn’t it nice that you can afford to go to the Ren Faire and buy a few of the pretty tinkets there without breaking the bank?” And “Hey, how about the fact that you can get into and out of the car, walk up and down the stairs, even do a jumping crescent kick half-way decent without any significant pain or discomfort- unlike that nice woman who can’t even open a jar of jam on her own. How about that?”
I do not believe that I am unique in having dug myself into this hole. I know that we all do it, that it’s part of human nature. That if we look at the adversities we have to face and lose sight of the things that we have to keep us going we can get dug down in the seriousness and self-pity and hopelessness of it all. And I know myself. I’ve been here before, many times.
One of my favoirte poems about change is Portia Nelson’s “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”. I’m sure you’ve all read it. Well, my epiphany for today is that I am in the hole again. And I’ve been here for a while. And I know better. And I need to get the hell out. Thank you, John.