The Price of Being Nice

To have encountered so much contrariness and being of so sensitive a disposition explains to me why I feel I’d better be perfect in all I do, say, and think. I enter each new day determined to straighten out the crookedness I feel exists in me—surely each new effort will put my life to rights.

In doing this, I fail.

I have seen wonderful things pour out of me, but gentle and kind thoughts given no credibility, seem to not carry the weight of the disapproving ones. This is amazing, is it not? I go to myself bringing everyone I’ve ever met to judge me with the judgments I, myself, have given them to have of me. I do not even argue with the perspective they are convinced I share; I cannot displease. I bring a bossy crowd with me to the table of my daily bread. I can’t seem to find my own true self at that table. What kind of daring do I need? It is daring, as I perceive it, to side with myself.

I mislaid my connection to my inner knowing by paying attention to external directives. Even only pretending to be paying attention to the world, leaves its mark―I now no longer trust myself. How can I side with a self who has become empty? How can I listen to what no longer has authority for me? Hasn’t what is told to me by others become the authority; the voice needing to be obeyed? Isn’t “God” a fixture made of rules? In this world, “spirit” is bound in words. Just the act of hearing words causes doubt, making the mind a teeming place and the inner quietness not felt. So subtle is the separation this causes that I have not stood guard against it. Creeds and dogmas pull me outward and entice me into dance steps not original to my Self. But the reality is: my true self has no equivalent out there.

Loud external discussions never let up. Where has peace and quiet gone? What is reality? I no longer am what I simply am: a deep wordless thing needing no explanation of self. I must become seen and made comprehensible to someone other than myself. How can I be at rest in this rather adversarial experience of life? Something vast is missing. And that something vast is a Closeness that cannot be found outside my innerness. Oh, I need to find my daring. A rapturously beautiful world lives inside me. I know, because my Creativity shows it to me. It is born by my Imagination, that subtleness that is real as nothing in this world is real. The world that lives in me is true. I don’t have to hide it from myself or feel that other people have a right and the power to reduce it to their understanding and therefore shut me up that I not contradict them.

As I write this, I begin to see that the daring I need is to love in another way. To love in this world, is not about agreeing with this world and making others comfortable by my acquiescence. To love is to value myself even as I do not fit in and never will. I have sold my Soul to live agreeably in a dreaming world. But Souls don’t wither and die. Souls speak their presence in their own way and require a different kind of “paying attention.” Thank God for my discomfort, it keeps reminding me that nothing held forth out there is my Soul.

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