the opposite of good isn’t evil

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A friend and her mother were discussing what a “good person” is. We all like to think we’re good people, but this definition is, I think, definitive. A good person not only extends beyond their self-interest to be concerned about others, but also follows though. If they say they will do something but don’t, they are not a good person. Quite the opposite because they have raised one’s expectations. Because talk is cheap.

Interestingly enough, this applies to a conflict I was in during 2012, which is still rippling around, belching the occasional sulfur bomb. In the midst of an argument that fall, I stated that I am a good person, and the Other assumed this meant they are not, because Other is very competitive and very insecure (I knew neither of these things at that time). The conflict rose to conflagration at that point, and now I know why.

Other is a person who means well, who “tries,” but steps up maybe 15% of the time. Who, by this definition, is unequivocally not a good person. No wonder Other set out to destroy me in their/our mutual world. Without meaning to, I struck Other where they live, their desire to believe about themself other than the results of their actions.

That Other continues to snipe at me and do me mischief, if not outright harm – okay, sometimes outright harm – keeps that flame alive. Not for me, necessarily, but I’m beginning to think that the Other fuels their life with artificial emotional conflagrations, so that they won’t have to face their own insecurities and perceived failings, which are only as artificial as is their finer feelings about themself. A thought: if we simply admitted what we don’t know, we’d be on the road to knowing it.  Y’know?

Life is so much simpler when we see ourselves for who we are and work from there. The expectations set up for us by parents, partners, society, even our children – wait! In many cases, those around us aren’t expecting anything! We project our own ideas of the best possible people on those folks and then assume that they expect perfection of us. Do we of them? What about reality? Whose?, you ask. Ah, the rub, the crux, the nexus of desire, to inhabit the same or at least a similar reality with those around us.

WARNING, APHORISM SIGHTED.  Only five percent (5%) of your life is about you.  Yes, you, you’re the one I’m talking to, and it’s ONLY 5%, make no mistake. The moments when I have moved my life away from others whom I love, who have shown me love, are those in which I’m quite clear that I’m in my 5% zone and they try to make it about them, even when I say, hello, this is my liminal moment, a little support would be nicer than you trying to make what’s happening to me, what I’m making happen, yours. Maybe so many of us want to be writers because those moments of creation feel like you’re increasing that percentage, the Zone is a place of fully inhabiting your life, your mind. In the Zone, the brain-cap is lifted, that fifth part of the soul that they say enters only on the Sabbath, is fully accessible.  All you must do is *not* try to control it. Conundrum, “try” to pick up a pencil. Wrong! Either you do or don’t pick it up, “try” has nothing to do with it. Now, don’t try not to pick up that pencil…

Perhaps the lesson here is to not try to fix anyone else, but to hold them in a compassionate light and wish them the best of whatever they wish for themselves. Remove one’s own heat and the conflagration can’t continue, or not without the other burning themself. It’s a fine line between feeling and showing compassion in this situation, because any energy actively directed at an Other can be manipulated back into a personal conflict.  Better to surround them in white light from a distance. On that topic, by the way, the only way my psyche would put Other in white light for more than a second (it filled with billowing black the moment my concentration wavered) was to imagine a sort of handheld fire extinguisher gushing white smoke. So I guess, at this moment, I’m fitting my definition of a good person. I’m actively trying to help, even though this is someone who is not, shall we say, on my side.

Hmmm.
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