“…believing they’re exerting great willpower and control to keep other people, for whom they think nothing’s ever wrong, from seeing it.” I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day and we were talking about how when we were growing up we would look at all of our friends and think that their lives were better than ours. I’m sure there are people out here who read this who may not have had that situation themselves. But I think it’s more common than it isn’t.
This is similar to the unspoken rule in my house that if anybody from the outside asked you how you’re doing you immediately told them, “fine.” When really truly inside I was scared shitless and wanting someone to give me some sort of relief from the abuse that was going on inside my household.
A while back I talked to two out of the four guys that I used to hang out with between second and fifth grades. They all thought their lives were worse than mine and I thought my lives were worse than theirs. We all suffered from some sort of abuse and amazingly the three of us all became addicts or alcoholics.
So what does this have to do with the present. I think it’s like everything else that when we don’t truly believe in who we are and our right to be here we will find ways to try and try to make others think that we’re better off than we truly are. We do it because it hurts too much to admit that we don’t know what we’re doing in life and that it’s painful to exist in so many ways.
I was listening to one of my favorite speakers today, Dr. Gabor Mate, and he was talking about how we are addicted to many things, drugs and alcohol only being the most obvious and easy to discriminate against. But he said something that really rings true for me and I think many others.
“Being cut off from our own natural self-compassion is one of the greatest impairments we can suffer.” This to me is my biggest handicap. I have tremendous empathy for others who suffer. I have gone out of my way to help others who suffer. I try to practice what my good friend the leprechaun says is, “loving kindness.”
Yet the hardest person for me to treat with loving kindness is the person who I look at in the mirror every morning.
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
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