Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Land of Disenchantment

I am both in love and in hate with the quote, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The universe knows this and keeps subtly dropping it in my path. I've been known to dole it out myself, especially when my neighbor yells at their dog.

(The yelling isn't working.)

Lately I've gotten into a Miss Fix-It routine with various things in my life: my unter-sink and the mystery smell thereunder, the Harry Potter Closet/Where Lightbulbs Go To Die, and most regrettably, some people in my life.

As much as I dislike rolling up my proverbial sleeves and scrubbing the muck from the plywood beneath my kitchen sink, I am somehow doing the same thing to some of those loose pieces in my life. The untied ends and not-quite-family members. Unfortunately, both contain some unsavory mildew that is resistant to elbow grease. Worst yet, I don't realize what I'm doing until the entire kitchen is in shambles or I'm venting to the internets at 0-dark-30 in the night time.

The yog-ers specifically warn against this type of behavior. Sure, you're supposed to find cleanliness, and I can't imagine any yoga teacher worth their salt discouraging my housekeeping endeavors. But nowhere have I found the directive, "Get out there and fix your inlaws, your various and sundry relationships, and your kitchen sink."

I'm no expert in Sanskrit, but everything I've read says effectively, "Stop complaining about others/everything and deal with your own $hit." Like, literally. The same sentiment crops up in every major and minor religion that is not solely fixated upon cheese, and yet the world seems to be filled with people complaining about the behavior of others (like former child stars turned twerkers, those entirely fixated on having a heterogeneous set of genitals in all relationships, and in my case, the rampant fertility of every human I know, including the characters in all of my favorite shows).

Why is it so easy to point at others? (Aside from the fact that the vast majority their behavior is asinine). It's because it is easier to see from a distance. That's why we're all so good at Jeopardy and professional sports when we sit on our couches. It is both dizzying and disorienting to look at our own behavior... it is like looking directly into the sun.

My husband reminds me of this on a daily basis. It is not my purpose in life to highlight everything that others do wrong, it is my purpose to see what I do that isn't working. Then to do it again. Then to realize I'm doing it again. Then to do something different.

Insanity is continuing to believe we have control over anything other than our own reactions. Anxiety is the belief that worry has a purpose. Anger is the realization that our anxiety wasn't strong or effective enough.

Fear is forgetting we're capable of doing it right.