Updated: Nov 27, 2018
Whhoooa haven't been on here in a loooooooong time.
#Optimisticality wha's dat den?
It is a place for content and musings of an emotional and thoughtful nature from yours truly. It may at times be random, and has no real set content or subject matter save the one of resolutely not giving in to life's incessant pressure to make people believe they are not "good enough" or don't "have enough" or cant "be enough" etc etc etc... If you like "Optimisticality" is the (he)art of being stubbornly optimistic about life.
It's been a busy few months for me, life changes, professional challenges and the obligatory monetary considerations conspiring to keep me away from the bloggers keyboard in favour of the other tasks that commandeer my efforts. I've put in a lot of time in the last two years running or on the bike, but I'm not switching to the pool because the left kneee has packed in. I'm in the the latter stages of a process of sorting out a long term nagging condition the resolution of which is resulting a more relaxed and chilled version of myself, which is good, and all in all i must say I'm feeling pretty positive.
All except for one tiny detail. Even after all these years since I started my pre military life I am drawn back time and again to a lecture given by Dr Wayne Dyer many years ago.. (youtube, you have a lot to answer for....) In this lecture an analogy is used to describe the human spirit that goes something like this:
"...you squeeze an orange, what happens? ...Juice comes out....what kind of juice... "orange
juice?" .. any chance of lemon or grape fruit? ...does it matter when or where the orange is squeezed? or who squeezes it? ....Nope.. always orange juice..."
Ok .. not too difficult a concept. Now .. heres the question .. WHY?
Some might say because "its an orange" ..... but it wasn't always full of juice.. as a seed it was still an orange seed..but... no juice... (copy-write Michael Macintyre) No the simple answer as to why you get orange juice from an orange when you squeeze is because:
"that's whats inside"
So? I hear you all ask: why is this bothering you and why are you squeezing metaphorical oranges? Well if one squeezes, or applies pressure to a person by means of stress, workload, or other life pressure then the inference is that the person's reaction to that pressure comes from inside much like the orange juice.
And this is the bit that I'm mulling over, heres why I am a little concerned and introspective. Currently even though a lot of good stuff and plans are progressing and in general I'm a happier chilled out person, with Fido (my own emotional black labrador) behaving beautifully in his basket, If I'm squeezed currently what still occasionally comes outta me is a whole lota anger.
So I've been kinda busy with "why" over the last few days, pondering what it is I'm still angry about after all these years, and in some subconscious kinda hippy dippy way what it is thats causing this rather bitter orange juice to over flow on occasion.
I've been through the mill a bit, but hey to paraphrase the little green dude in a galaxy far far away .."when 42 yrs old you reach look as good you will not hmm?" So all in all I'm genuinely of the opinion that life in the "now" aint all that bad. However ..roll it back a few years and its a different story... Low self esteem, loss of lucrative job and lifestyle, let down by a flawed system and bad management....lost house.. broken relationship(s) ..you get the idea...
I hadn't really figured out the "orange juice conundrum" until today. I read a piece about letting go in relationships. and in it the authors simply summed up the neatness of why I'm subconsciously doing the hugh Jackman wolverine act ...
"Lack of perceived progression along a predefined route to "happiness" ..."
In a relationship one meets, dates, meets parents, moves in ...proposes, wedding, babies, etc etc etc... its all plotted out .. and many relationships fail because one or other partner gets to a point where reality deviates from their subconsciously ingrained model. Now its ok to deviate. however some people are so attached to the model that they slavishly keep looking for it, casting aside anything that doesn't "fit" their internal "successful relationship mapping"
Subconsciously I realised that I was doing the same. not with relationships, but rather with the concept of "successful" and the internal pressure at 42 yrs old to have already achieved it. I was submitting myself to a pressure of always being "late" like the white rabbit in Alice through the looking glass. Much like the rabbit i was consequently emotionally directionless...unfocused and thus making the problem worse. Not having achieved enough, not having enough and not being able to do enough brought about a perceptual frustration..which when squeezed by outside influences caused an angry outburst.
Eureka! by jove she's got it!
...but hold on... how do we fix this? Achieving more isn't gonna help I'm just gonna be further behind? giving up? nah too stubbornly optimistic for that (see what i did there) No the answer is to simple stop framing "success" by old outdated parameters. Stop focusing on whats wrong, or absent or what cannot be done. look instead at what you have, and can accomplish, look for the opportunity in the situation and you're more likely to notice it, or see the means to create it.
More over when squeezed...be mindful of the old mental train tracks down which lazy thought processes run. Walk down a different mental path and see things from a different vantage point.
So to let go of the anger I had to let go of the "expectation" of attaining something as per this "progression map" that seems to have sub consciously gotten into my head. I need to emotionally adapt as well as physically and fiscally to the new circumstances as they are rather than striving to get back to what they "used to be" Sure One day I might once again be at a similar kinda place in terms of resource. but one can never go back...
It's been Seven years now since my cozy little bubble of unknowing ignorance collapsed inwards and the world revealed itself to be a harsher, some what less certain place than I had fondly imagined. The fact that happened is not cause for anger and recrimination, rather its a learning curve, and one from which I'm still discerning the lessons.