Monday, January 28, 2019

My Birthday / Community

I have this problem... Words bubble up in my head, but when I sit down to write them I get physically nauseous.

In any case, I came home at night last week after my Sacred Song Circle, and I was utterly overwhelmed. I could have just called it a night with that simple realization, and gone to sleep, but no - of course not - I must stay up and write about it, decipher it, analyze it, get to the bottom of it - what is it? - why am I so overwhelmed by it?

And then slowly, over the next hours and days (exhausted from a lack of sleep and still having to go to work every day for a few hours, etc.), I search myself for insight, and it descends on me. I listen closely to what my mind thinks the core problem is, which happens while I shower or wash dishes or sit in silence, or tap tap tap at the computer, and I understand it better by writing little segments of realizations, at different times, to different friends, and I feel that each time I am escalating on the scale of preciseness.

So, there is a psychological complex, a sort of social superiority complex, by which I know something I am doing is liked by others (or I am aware of a change I am making in the world outside of my self), and that alters my perception of what I am doing. I want to stay sincere to the personal pleasure and meaning and inspiration it gives (like singing) while I am also aware that others receive inspiration from it, and so I worry that I am by no consent of my own possibly modifying it for their pleasure, or that I am overdoing it and not being sincere anymore.

This happens to me not only when I lead a song circle (although then it is especially amplified) but also when I sing in the street, or put up a sign in public, or make a public statement, or convince someone in the world of something of my beliefs. (Usually, I want to back down when I notice that my voice is in public - even though I want it to be heard. I want to say: Wait, wait, don't trust me - because I don't trust me - go do the research yourself and then find your own conclusion. With singing it is slightly different, though, because it does not involve claiming to know something about the physical reality and structure of the world - which I really have no idea about, but just allowing an emotional channel to open, and I perhaps have firmer trust and belief in this aspect of life.)

And also, this complex, whose umbrella term I usually call social overwhelmingness, entails in it a strangeness with appreciation: appreciating thank yous toward me but also feeling wary or later overwhelmed, because I am scared to know (to be aware of) what the limits of love are (afraid, ultimately, of my capability of actually being a bad person, which is a general complex I have maybe due to violence I have endured), or when it becomes "too much" to allow myself to accept (I don't want to turn the positive feedback into something I depend on, I don't want to want it too much, to let the desire for gratification run loose...), or what I have to do to not let them regret it or to not let them down, or when acceptance of gratitude turns into self-love - and what are the acceptable limits of self-love, anyway? (Can I think I am awesome in certain things, without seeming arrogant?) Or should there be a continuation, a reciprocation? Essentially the question is: where in my mind do I store thank yous? Do I accept them, put them on a shelf in my brain and and move on?

I admit it. I want people to know that I am unique and special, and I want to be recognized as such.

I also want to sincerely and selflessly share my few gifts with the world.

How do these two desires fit together? That is maybe the essence of my contemplation.

When others thank me sincerely, I don't reject it or become cynical (as some people I know do, and then out of discomfort they either reject it or shoot back an immediate response without actually accepting it). I think it is important to accept it fully, it nourishes and enriches the heart.

I appreciate each of the people around me so much. If not for their presence, their personality, their spirit, I would not have this vessel, this community, in which to love and be loved. If not for them, there would be no spiritual escalation for me, either.

(Song Circle for my birthday - faces of friends blurred for their privacy)

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