Category Archives: Guilt

On Overcoming Rivals

On Overcoming Rivals

I never thought of myself as a competitive person because I saw how much more competitive many others were than me.  I never cared to win much at sports or other “see who is best” events.  Maybe it was because the effects of losing didn’t last long or I’d just rather not dive to the ground just to keep a ball in the air.  Regardless, I did engaged in my own competitions from time to time, but they weren’t always so sportly structured.

Often my rivals were simply my friends in school.  We were all trying our best to get good grades and we were all in the same boat when it came to intelligence, so it was often a close call.  I only had to win by a few inches, not cram for a whole mile.

Other rivals were family members of a similar age vying for attention or adoration from the adults, which we were never actually starved for.

These competitions were constant throughout childhood.  As I got older and became aware of these behaviors, I realized that the scars I was accumulating and causing were not longer a result of healthy competition.  It was down right mean.

Though all of this I always thought of myself as a nice person.  I was at heart a people pleaser to the point where I put other people’s wants above my own.  But I wasn’t fully a nice person.  I inflicted social pain on others when they didn’t even know there was a competition.  I felt triumphant when I finally felt better than a specific person.

Then I looked back and realized that they were just being themselves, reacting to the world, looking for a friend.  Here I was jealous of their natural advantages, needing to prove myself when my friend just stood there defeated by my behavior.

Its been over 10 years since I had this realization.  I’ve since made new friends who were so beyond my own situation in life that I felt no need to compete.  We are simply not comparable because we play life in completely different arenas with completely different rules.  We can simply talk about life and try to understand each other without one-upping.

I still encounter my old rivals, often with compassion and guilt over having “beat” them when they were already too far down to fight.  Others, I just avoid, having never settled the score.

On being alone in the world

On being alone in the world

No matter how much we surround ourselves with people, animals, and thoughts of religious deities who validate our existence, we are indeed alone in life.  We rationalize the opposite instinctively.

It is a survival mechanism to utilize the imagination.  Without imagination we’d all be in loony bins because it is a shock to the system to see that no help is coming and there is far more to fall before we hit bottom.  Once we’ve reached the limits of our capabilities and related control over our life situation, there is nothing more than hope that Fortuna, the goddess of fortune and luck, will cruise in and sway her tiller in more a fortunate direction for us.

The fortune of humans.  Being in the right place at the right time does require showing up, but no guarantee that you’ll ever actually get there.

“When your prospects for the future solely depend on luck, you know you’ve screwed up.”  I quote myself.  I believe it to be true that luck lies in the realm of the gods, those mystical creatures who never show themselves to us in their true form. People pry and worship because they are at our lowest of lows and have exhausted all capabilities within ourselves to further our self-created cause.  If this is you, you are low.

Failure is a harsh term at times because it is usually attributed to personal failure as if it was someone’s fault.  In reality, failure is the world’s fault.  This person, a creation of this world, somehow was genetically programed to pursue a dead end cause.

There is a parasite in the Amazon jungle that reproduces by attaching itself to a specific ant specie.  These ants typically fallow along normal army ant (get food, build ant hill, attack enemy) behavior on the ground. Once this parasite attaches itself to the ant, suddenly the ant (for no genetic reason of its own) climbs a specific type of leaf growing off the Amazon floor and dies.  The parasite lays its eggs inside the ant’s body and when the eggs hatch, they eat the leaf before finding ants of their own to commandeer.

It would be great if my failed career attempts could so easily be attributed to a parasitic demon that drives me on adventures all over the world that consequentially spiral me into years of debt repayment AKA indentured servitude, but in reality, it is just me, in my head doing whatever it takes to make myself feel good, alone.

 

On Money

On Money

Greed.  That word, that sinful word.  It’s meaning is out of style, like the idea that college is the key to success.  Everyone knows it, yet people keep throwing money at it.  Appealing to a persons sense of greed is the best way to scam money out of them.  They know that greed is bad and their self flagulative instincts don’t want a lashing!

There is nothing wrong with wanting money.  It is the only tangible proof that I existed during all those hours of modern day slavery, modern day “show up and do what we tell you, or else!”  It is slavery, because I go through all of this in life to get by and then, at the end, I am faced with a green image of me in the mirror.   An image telling me that I shouldn’t have wanted this because now I am greedy.

It isn’t the afterlife that will haunt you.  Christians got it wrong, they want to ignore too much.  There is much more going on.  They want you to stay in the bubble of purity where you won’t feel the harshness since you will have done no so-called wrong.  Feel it, for is exists.  I have greed, I have hunger, I want more because I don’t have enough.  If I tried to hide it it would show up in some other way, probably on my hips.  If I had enough, and still wanted more, then the more negative connotation could apply, but, most people I know are not there, yet they are referred to as greedy.  This is a problem because they feel that they are asking for too much, yet they have not asked for enough because they fear being labeled as greedy.

Don’t be greedy, give!  Get our numbers high!

On status anxiety

On status anxiety

The world is apparently flattening yet all over I still sense a need in people to cling to old forms of social class structures.  Top schools, top jobs, top companies, top designers, top top top top top.  Are we working for money or recognition?  If someone pays you a salary, you are working class.  If you live paycheck to pay check, regardless of income amount, you are broke.  If your net worth is negative, you are broke.

The standard of living gives people a false sense of social standing.  The ability to talk and act “up” also give a false sense of where they stand.  People aren’t competing against each other, people are competing against what others claim to have or be doing.  There is a big difference, especially if you encounter a habitual exaggerator who defines themselves by their dreams not by their actual accomplishments.  But anyway, why the need to compete after the contest is over?  After the good school, good work experience, good standard of living, etc.  At what point does the competitive drive just allow everyone to kick back and simply enjoy the fruits?

i guess I just want the competitive people to shut up.  It is the noise coming out of their mouth, infecting my ears that irritates me.  For some reason my brain finds meaning in it, fearful meaning.  Perhaps my sensitivity to words is just flaring up again.  The words hit at my insecurity about no being smart enough or good enough.  So whenever I hear the competitive chatter, it gets to me.  I don’t like being taunted, teased, or put down.  Words have meaning and I respect them.  Therefore I don’t use them aggressively unless I mean to, but that doesn’t mean I should expect everyone else to follow my same doctrine.

Harnessing my own insecurity would help.  If I accepted that I am perfectly fine and capable, then I could move on.  I could fill in the empty space were my old insecurity sat with something better that doesn’t listen for fearful confirmation.  I could replace it with confidence and the ability to not need to second guess myself.

On Guilt

On Guilt

When I partake in a guilty pleasure, for days afterward I am hyper vigilant that someone is going to call me out on it.  Typically though, I am only called out on those pleasures for which I feel no guilt.  So then, why am I expecting a negative reaction when I feel as though I have done something to feel guilty over?  It must just be the effects of guilt, an emotion for which there seems to be no antidote for.

I often don’t realize that I feel guilty until I start to wonder why certain memories keep flashing into my mind.  At that point I simply ask myself, “why are those few seconds of life so significant?”  From there I shift through all past memories which I find are associated with this reoccurring thought and deduce a common theme.  Guilt is tricky though because it is not an emotional which I like to admit I feel.  By having a habit of avoiding it, I find that there are many other memories that have been left untagged by the guilt category, making the mess a rather large, draining chore.

But still with guilt, is isn’t like other emotions in that acknowledging it neither fully takes away its uncomfortable residue nor does it give me new habit to practice so as to make future situations less stressful.  I’m am simply left feeling guilty and knowing it.

That makes me think that my propensity to feel guilty has less to do with the actual behaviors which excited the guilt in me and more to do with a need to feel far more guilty in life than is really necessary.  Therefore the guilt in me is hungry for reasons to get its fair share of my waking life and thus attaches itself to situations simply because it has greater power than a more desirable emotion like joy.  While this reasoning makes sense to me, it still doesn’t dissipate my discomfort.  There must be something else going on in addition to the guilt…. perhaps it will surface in another note…

Bipolar Behavior

Bipolar Behavior

The most annoying aspect of an over expression of annoyance or anger is the transition by way of guilt . How one passes from positive to negative emotions I think plays an important part in their behavior towards other people. If I were to get into a positive mood by relaxing, reading, playing golf, etc. and completely moving into a positive mood unrelated to the negative state of mind then the forthcoming actions, when presented with that negative situation, is different than if I convinced myself that I have gone too far and used that realization to further “make up” for my previous over expression of emotion. Thus being able to be overly nice later is not honest because it would not have happened had I not been in a bad mood yesterday. Some people just need to be bitches in order to get to that super nice state of mind they probably wish they could always be in.

In reality, it is best to simply own your bad mood, possibly admit to those who took the brunt of it that you were wrong to get that heated or at least, completely address it to yourself so you can better understand yourself. Then, and this is key, return to homeostasis! Don’t go on a super overly nice spree because it is way, way obvious that your doing it because of yesterday’s behavior and just don’t want to address it by admitting you read way too far into the email for some stupid, emotionally reactive ego protecting reason. Beyond that, you’ll burn yourself out because most probably the people you are now trying really hard to be overly nice to, probably don’t deserve THAT much niceness. Knowing this, you will eventually get bitter and play the game called “Look at how nice I’ve been to you” and end up getting really, really pissed off at nothing once the wick of your Nice candle gets blow out by some common minor annoyance, which, had you been maintaining homeostasis, would have hardly been noticeable.