I'm starting to realize the extent that obligation to others has in one's own conception of Self. It's as if immediately following the realization of "I Am" comes "where does my I-Am fit in with Others"? I guess I'm learning what everyone else already knows--that our dealings among others are an important component of who we are spiritually. Duh.
In the post-Christmas-season of obligation-kids'-first-week-back-in-school-decompression-period I've had a chance to reflect on this. The holidays are a concentration of obligation, so it's been in my face. I seem to be learning something about doing more than just suffering from it.
So it seems humans are often in a confrontation of realities: and in a position of determining whose reality will prevail, whose will defer.
Over the holidays I had guests spending days in my home. Classic family stew. I identified a number of points where there was a collision of realities (a soft collision--the kind that doesn't even rise to the level of an argument). One example is the point where requests become excessive to me, but seem perfectly reasonable to them. Yeah, what was being called on from me was to a) meet requests b) do it in such a way that validates someone's self image by not indicating that it cost me anything. My guest's reality: what they're asking is reasonable for a guest to expect from their host...my reality: it is not.
And, I'm being asked to preserve their belief that it's ok to keep asking for things. And that it's ok for them to be people who ask for things. I am not only being asked to do the thing, but to protect their belief that it is ok.
I suppose part of what has driven this whole dynamic, and why I’ve had to confuse myself about it is FEAR that when that other person’s ego-defenses are activated that they will punish me to my core, and I will feel ashamed to my very core.
And so I’ve weighted the Voice of perception (that informs my reality) with all kinds of doubts and guilts, and fears-that-my-senses-mean-the-worst-about-me…and so I try to suppress the Truth of what I'm experiencing..Because it will hurt to know the Truth and not do anythiing about it, and to Tell the Truth risks an explosion. I guess the basic fact is that people are often invested with their lives in maintaining their ego’s illusions. And any threat to those illusions will bring on an intense fire-fight. So I have deferred my reality to others’ because I have feared I would lose such a firefight. I guess I fear a confrontation that might mean that I’m revealed as the worst I can be and have to admit it. I’ve been protecting myself from a confrontation that might force me to admit that I’m horrible. Rotten at the very core of my being.
Can anyone ever ‘make me’ feel that I am totally and utterly Wrong? I guess I’ve been afraid to test that.
I have a self that I split off from. I’ve known this concept in theory, but I now see how it worked/works in my life. I’ve feared my whole life being brought back into contact with that Self, and I’ve particularly feared that confrontation with another person would do that. (The fact that I consider the prospect a horror to be avoided at all costs reveals the extent to which I’ve loathed this part).
There are several people in my life who believe they have a legitimate claim on me to not contradict their version of reality. That preserving their ego should be a priority of mine. That to do anything that shakes their ego’s self-perception = rudeness, discouresty and disrespect of the most offensive kind (the kind of rudeness that only my Worst, most Disowned Self would be capable of).
It might be a little rough transitioning to someone who does not defer to other people’s realities—that is, the delusions people carry about themselves--if it’s going to cost me something I don’t want to spend.
I can be open to being *convinced*, though. However that implies a process more open than most people are willing to be. Usually the assertion of a reality and the decision to defer or not happens in a flash that's hardly noticable. A covert 'agreement'.
I suppose getting to this makes these past several weeks worth it.