I am thrilled that my last blog on Love stirred up so many heartfelt comments However, based on some of those comments I think I must follow up with some further clarification.
First, I have to tell you that pondering and thinking about stuff is my life. I can never fault myself for thinking too much. I think about things that bother me until I finally understand why and then I can forget them and move on. I never rehash old problems or relationships unless something develops that tells me I am not really finished with the subject. Being able to finally see truth and leave old stuff behind has been one of the blessings that has kept me alive.
Second, my introspection does not make me sad or depressed. If I fail to discover what is at the bottom of something that is hurting, I just set it aside to deal with later, and if I do discover what is making me miserable, that in itself usually fixes the problem and I can be done with it. And, oddly enough, what I usually discover that liberates me is some new way of seeing the situation that generally reveals some flaw in myself that I had not been aware of. Getting closer to the truth about things and about yourself is a totally liberating thing even if that sounds contradictory. The old adage "Know thyself" is a great key to peace and happiness. When you discover a flaw that you were unaware of you not only behave differently, but you are in a position to DO something about it. Those are all great things, not negative ones.
What was so great about my realizing that I have a few shortcomings in the Love department was that it enabled me to stop blaming anyone else for my uneasiness over a recent stumbling block in a relationship. For me this is a huge achievement and not a disappointment. I find that I tend to get a bit smug with myself often and this leads me to wrongly evaluate a situation. It is really good for me to smack myself down every now and then to be closer in touch with the reality of things. I don't know if I can communicate how important it is for me to find out what I have done wrong in a situation where I had considered myself blameless. If the problem lies within your own jurisdiction, you can REALLY TRY to fix it......there is no way of fixing things if you are convinced that you are innocent and the other person is totally at fault. (and even if they are, realizing that you are not totally innocent changes things and makes it easier to accept their shortcomings.).
Actually I have a pretty solid and positive sense of self so this process does not damage my confidence....it increases it. But, there was a time in my life when I had no self confidence whatsoever. I have written about that in a past blog. It was the time of my first big insight and the moment when I started to rebuild myself from the absolute bottom. I was writhing around in a pit of self loathing and said to myself in total despair, "You are a no good rotten person.....why should you continue to exist?". That is when the voice of truth inside me said, "No, Lois, that is not true....you are good to animals." And I saw that it was true and realized that I had at least one redeeming feature. The pain and depression left and I was at peace with my new discovery......at least till the next problem appeared. It left me one step up from absolute bottom and I never fell back from that step up.
Now, if I can find hidden flaws and recognize them and accept them and go on loving myself (after the first few moments of disconcerting horror) I am definitely better off than I was before.
In my blog yesterday, when I rated myself as a 2 on the Loving scale I was not really being honest. I felt that was about right at the moment, but I do believe that my actual score is higher than that. And with each new flaw that I discover I can try to improve and become even more of a loving person. If I manage to do that, well.....that would be a good thing. And if I don't, I guess whatever I am will have to do.
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
8 hours ago