Living in a body can be so complex, if you let it. So much to ruminate upon, if you’re not wary enough to catch yourself falling down the rabbit hole. For one thing, cultural norms can be so distracting, with cyber bullshit and national news casting an elaborate fantasy meant to tease us into submission. We’re surrounded by a wide variety of circuses that flash sparkly stuff into our eyes 24/7. The thrill of murder and mayhem can even drug us in that realm. Or a sense of inner lack can disconnect us from the present moment.
Yesterday, subbing for a class of high school seniors, I listened in on a loudish conversation blooming across the room. Two girls were fawning all over this brute of a boy who kept describing his bitch (girlfriend?) of three years as so innocent (ergo, in need of his guidance). He annoyed the crap out of me, but most fascinating were the girls, getting high on the drama in his soliloquy. As the class started, the girls sashayed in late, and one showed him a video on her phone in which she and another girl were fist fighting. He gave some tips about the other girl’s weakness as a combatant. Bam! The delicious thrill that something really earth-shattering is going on and that you’re a starring player reminded me so much of doing cocaine. A train wreck wouldn’t derail those kids’ determination to be thought of as sophisticated, or something else important (but more today than that). There was a wingman for mister Big Stuff, but he didn’t have any lines. Everyone had role in the story though. I eavesdropped.
Like any addiction that works to prevent our being present and accounted for, glory hypnotizes us. Being respected or admired lures us. Those kids? I wish them true happiness. But the ignorance of them? Somebody’s been working hard to make sure they have no tolerance for originality and that they crave entertainment. Because…
Everyone feels pressed to keep up, but we – us Baby Boomers, I guess you could say – aren’t as agile and peppy as we used to be, and keeping up wears us out. We find we’re expecting a physical ease most of us once took for granted, and then we’re stunned at the noises we make when standing up or sitting down.
When you’re young and you ignore reality your body doesn’t rebel, except when you’re so far out there your wise body insists you stop or slow down by cracking up your car with you in it, or by smashing your face into concrete in another way. Other times you might just get sick. These things happen. But mostly young people are impervious. I’m kinda jealous.
On the other hand, the slowing down has some advantages. Whenever I catch myself out of alignment now, I want to look to discover what I was trying to hide. What propelled me into the world of make believe? Often, my reactions to anything/one I find imperfect reflect the secrets I’m keeping about myself from myself: the places of my woundings. The potential for healing follows. It’s a process.
Due to my reactions towards others this past week I’ve learned the foolishness of boasting. (It’s not just buffoonery, it’s baloney balloonery!) I also saw that when someone called themselves out on a silly faux pas it was a kind of liberation, where witnessing that felt like a hug. And I remembered how much misery we find when we measure ourselves based on extrinsic standards.
Then I picture Beanie, my Olympian-material doggie pal, tossing a tennis ball off the couch so he can go catch it. Love that guy.
Ah yes, living inside a body! They say that being restricted in this way provides a training ground to encourage our soul’s evolution. It makes sense now. All good.