An emotional pattern is rising to the surface. I’m not sure I can totally categorize what this complex pattern of thoughts and feelings looks like, but I will try my best.

 

I’ve been meaning to write this entry for almost a week now, while the feelings and happenings are still fresh on my mind. God willing, I will be able to take the pain and go from there.

 

Let us begin.

 

Part of my social anxiety- not all of it, but part of it- stems from my fear of confrontation with other people. Just thinking about having an argument or someone getting angry with me causes my adrenal to rush. I don’t want to do or say anything that will invoke someone else’s harshness to come down on me.

 

In my life, avoiding conflict has become almost an art. I can’t handle rejection- of any kind- very well.

 

Low self-esteem can do that.

 

But yes, arguments, fights, being attacked and feeling defenseless in that attack, is one of the sources of my social anxiety. This much I know.

 

This ties in, of course, with the fear of public humiliation.

 

The majority of confrontations in my life have resulted in my feeling guilty, with my being the one who is first to say that I am sorry, with my being the one to swallow my pride, no matter how right I was, and to give in to the other person so that they won’t be angry at me. I am also talented at bringing comfort to people by doing this, and it has been very rare that anyone has apologized to me.

 

For that reason, when someone sincerely apologizes to me, I appreciate their apology more than a starving man would appreciate bread. I appreciate that someone can see that they have hurt me or done me wrong.

 

The emotional pattern that happened recently was a miniature reflection of a much large, on-going process with one of my friends while also being the latest in my own series of emotional hits. It goes something like this:

 

I meet someone, and there are fond feelings there. Shallow or deep, this doesn’t matter; the feeling of comfort and the belief that the person is somehow and somewhere good is there.

 

A disagreement or misunderstand, whether large or small, occurs. The person in question goes on to not only disagree or misunderstand me, but then turns on me, becoming hateful, spiteful, and spinning his own web of lies and deceit in which I am then caught.

 

Before I can defend myself, before I can realize what’s happened, the person has taken up his stance as Judge, Jury, and Executioner; he strikes at me with false accusations that, when reason is applied, are obviously false, but in the heat of the moment bring up rejection after rejection in my life, and I am forever cast out of his life, no matter my relative level of importance to him.

 

At this point, while still believing his attacks on me, I break down, crying.

 

Then I go around, trying to make atonement for the sins I’ve committed- to other people. It’s as though part of me believes that my expressing my love and gratitude for other people, I will be able to garner a larger army, a larger defense on my side.

 

So, maybe a good does come out of it. After all, expressing appreciation and gratitude for others is good, and I mostly just assume that they understand by my actions that I care about them.

 

Then I start feeling guilty about hating the person in question, and I basically beat myself up for not being spiritually advanced enough.

 

This past time, I saw that all these feelings of self-doubt and lack of self-worth and such are preventing me from being close to anyone in a relationship type sense. I had previously not seen this, but the pain I felt when an almost perfect stranger and a completely perfect asshole attacked me, rejected me, and left me to shake with my own tears seemed to be there.

 

It is worse when the people you have known or thought you knew turn on you in this way, yet a perfect stranger reduced me to tears.

 

The night before this happened, a intriguing thought appeared, going back to my youth: why did I believe things people said about me? Why? Why would I automatically believe that if someone said something, good or bad, that it was true?

 

Why did it never occur to me that other people may actually do things that I don’t do- like say nasty things to hurt me, to harm me, because they are jealous of me? Because they really do see something in me that they don’t have, or they really do assume something’s happening in my life that isn’t in theirs?

And all this time, I believed people said mean things to me and attacked me because somewhere, I deserved it or really wasn’t good; I believed they were simply telling me the truth.

 

But what happened to me to keep me from thinking for myself about myself? Why is my self-esteem so low?

 

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee says that the Teacher can see what these things really mean. However, I do not formally have a guru or teacher, and therefore, I can’t say that my low self-esteem has ever done anything except make me suffer.

 

People are often surprised that I’m not always passive. I am passive a good bit of the time, not making waves, being a good little boy from a culture long since dead and faraway, but when has this benefited anyone? I do have my opinions, but when out in public, when around other people, when people do and say things with which I disagree, I simply smile and nod, not agreeing internally but politely just hearing them out.

 

Please don’t be mistaken, dear reader; I’m not saying that I think less of or look down on the people who have differing opinions. My concern is not what people opine but how they go about it. I have had some of the most fascinating conversations with people who don’t have antagonistic opinions or experiences, just different ones, and that, that is the stuff with which this life is spiced.

 

People say things about me that are misunderstandings of me. I have been accused more than once in my life of being “stuck-up.” The latest rendition is someone using the exact word “snotty” and telling me that I was trying with all my effort to make myself feel better than he.

 

But I’m not stuck-up, or at least I don’t think I am; being polite and reserved in social situations doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone. What it does mean is that I respect everyone enough to act in a way that shows I care about them, even if just a little. Being able to conduct one’s self does not mean one thinks one is better.

 

Yes, I may be, in some ways, more educated and more cultured than other people, but those other people are still people, still my fellow humans, and even if they don’t have opinions or perspectives that are as well-reasoned as mine, they still have their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences to share, and many times, it’s simply a matter of giving a person a chance to share herself.

 

Or maybe there is a Shadow side to all this where I really do believe that I’m better than other people, and I simply have been too stupid to see it.

I do think other people give me more credit for intelligence than I deserve. I hear person after person say that I’m intelligent, yet I can see exactly how much I don’t know, I fear that I haven’t learned nearly enough in any field or subject or begun to climb to the ranks of mastering anything, and I’m almost 27 years old- an age that, as a teenager, I believed would see me involved in the world in a professional manner, doing the things I wanted to do, and so on.

 

But here I sit, in my childhood home, with the issues that have plagued me from my childhood.

 

Part of me understands what has to happen- the taking of revenge was the cracking open, the knocking down the wall between my ego and my shadow, the dichotomy no longer a clear dichotomy. I have avoided sinning, I have avoided doing things I believed unethical for fear of what might happen to me.

 

But then, if you see the problem with that, that’s the only reason I haven’t done these things in the past- the fear that karma or God or something would punish me for revenging myself.

 

However, if the same Principle of our world allows a person to hurt me in the first place, I think that the Principle should all me to defend myself. I don’t care anymore- I’m not going to sit down and take things.

 

If that requires me to sin, so be it. The reality is that society counts me as a sinner anyway, and I wonder if the concept that being gay may indeed be a sin may have kept me from actually being intimate in my lifetime to the extent that it has.

 

But no more. Down with that world, down with that world view; down with the world view that I’ve had for so long.

 

This view includes this feeling I’ve had that “other people seem to have this idea of what’s going on, and I’m totally lost; it’s like this big joke that I’m not in on.”

 

But that, my friends, my dear, dear readers, is incorrect; there are far, far too many people I have met during my short life that actually don’t get it whatsoever; they aren’t “in” in something that I’m not, I’m just seeing the idiocy that runs rampant, seeing things too clearly, and I’m confused about why other people are not seeing it.

 

Maybe I was not born with a strong will and the ability to not have my feelings hurt and the power to just blaze through whatever troubles come my way as some people seem to have been. (We’ve all met such people.) But I wish it were that way.

In the argument last Friday, I was told point-blank that I was not worth knowing, that the person in question had no desire to know me. But that was also a misunderstanding; he doesn’t know me, so his desire is ill-placed.

 

Today, I prayed for something that I dare not pray for. I whispered a prayer for something that seems to be like a cheating of everything I’ve ever done, something that seems to be the utmost of selfishness: I prayed for happiness, to be happy.

 

Everything in my life has been oriented in such a way that I think I must have something to be happy- I must be in love, I must feel love, I must suffer first, I must earn my happiness, I must accomplish x, y, and z to be happy, and so on.

 

But to pray directly for my own happiness had never occurred to me. I felt happiness in my heart, that glowing brightness in the upper part of my chest, the sense that everything is going to be okay, that sense that all the arguments and all the ideas and all the problems don’t matter when you’re already happy. Being with someone, not being with someone, being religious, not being religious; none of this matters when you yourself are happy.

 

The happiness wasn’t laced with the poisoned clouds on the horizon of “happy medication,” where one’s problems and darkness still loom, where they’re only held off by medicine that will eventually fade and hurl you into the storm again. The happiness instead was the bright sword of Christ, born happily, a claiming of the birthright of each and every human being.

 

But I have been taught that for me to be happy while another suffers is actually selfish. That doesn’t make sense, though, because it would be almost impossible (save for a miracle) for everyone to become happy at the same time.

 

So instead, I would say that happiness of one’s self must be filled, filled, and filled again until it spills over and helps everyone that you know.

 

I also realized that praying for my own happiness was a change in me, a signal that I wanted to show love to myself. This is a brave, new world, a world in which I will know what it means to love myself.

 

And really, what sense does it make to care what other people think, especially strangers? They don’t know me like I know me; I won’t apologize for the virtues I have, I will not allow my vices to hurt anyone else, so what the bloody Barbara Streisand tampon fuck has the problem been all this time?

More reflections coming soon!

 

Beaux

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