Friday, October 1, 2010
When Natural Monkey-Man Flings Poo, Throw Love In Return
There exists a disconnect between physical desires and spiritual needs.
My dad likes to say that natural man basically has the instinct of a chimp or bonobo. We are all naturally capable of being sweet, lusty, and ingenious, but also spiteful, calculating, and vicious.
For various reasons it is hardwired into these temporal bodies to behave instinctively to secure the most beneficial outcome of any situation for ourselves. That is part of the reason why it is so difficult to reign in physical desires and make way for spiritual needs to come first; it is contrary to natural man's instinct.
My whole life I have felt these two aspects of myself battling for control over my person. Quite often they are in sync; neither needs to gain power because I'm just plodding along without challenge. Sometimes the spirit side of me shares a glimpse or two of what it is to be eternal.
More often than I admit, natural man takes over and starts flinging poo around like there's no tomorrow.
In the aftermath of such an incident, regular me has to clean it all up. Sometimes there's no excuse that can be made for the bad behavior and all I can do is shrug and hope that anyone else involved can understand. Most of the time I simply attempt to exclude myself from social situations when I feel those instincts bubbling up to the surface.
I don't notice guys. Particularly not guys who are noticing me. It's a blind spot I've always had. The truly sad thing is that I've always been depressed because I can't notice them noticing me so I downplay every social situation where it may be possible to be noticed in attempts to avoid getting my hopes up and then dashed to pieces.
Are you still following me?
Let me break it down: I can't tell if men are interested. This makes me sad. I feel rejected before ever feeling accepted. I instinctively try to protect myself from the emotional trauma of rejection by downplaying any instance where a young man might be interested.
It's cyclical and horrible and not very healthy. Lying to oneself is treacherous business.
This is where that inner monkey/natural man comes into play.
I begin to lash out with poisonous cynicism that taints my interactions with others. I dwell on past hurts, mostly self-inflicted, and can barely get through an hour, much less a day, without some kind of upheaval. After a while I am so exhausted by the constant tantrums that I just go numb and can't feel much of anything.
That's when my other self comes in to tidy the rooms of my mind and heart; to let some light in and push back the ugly side of natural instinct. This takes a lot of effort but keeps me occupied. I try really hard to be of use to others during this time.
Once things settle down a little and I give in to the luxury of introspection, the thoughts often come back in their tiring manner and start off a new cycle of self doubt, destruction, and repression.
It's too tiring to continue.
My new goal: learn to love that monkey inside of me and embrace the human experience instead of attempting, and failing, to hide the fact. I am a human being with very real, passionate feelings of anger, love, hurt, envy, appetite, sloth, greed, and pride.
Each of the seven deadly sins, and then some, are alive and kicking inside of me, rest assured. I am no saint.
The only way to gain some solidarity is to recognize and accept the good as well as bad and love myself despite it all. Otherwise, I will be a constant disappointment to myself.
And so, because I know my weaknesses all to well, here is a list of things I can do well:
Listen to people: worries, problems, fears, good news, ideas, fancies, and general conversation.
Offer useful advice and serve as a cheer leader in the purest sense.
Cook: anything and everything I decide.
Bake: anything and everything I decide.
Work hard to accomplish a specific goal.
Create: anything and everything I decide.
Focus on the task at hand with dedication.
Humor: I laugh very easily.
Enjoy nature; even the less beautiful places and things.
Offer compassion and understanding; empathy.
Love: it is extremely easy for me to find things to love about others, no matter who they are. It's something I've been practicing for a long time. I think it is time to turn this skill onto myself.