I so tire of my incessant internal sighs and dramatic suppression of rage that occasionally I’ll lob a scathing one-liner at random passers-by in hopes of transferring my angst in some small cruel way, similar to the steam that leaks with random violence from the top of a pressure cooker.
The complications that manifest themselves when a person makes a pastime of being self-hypercritical are seemingly endless. I have always been extremely hard on myself. This has made life confusing at times, resulting in both more complications and less enjoyment, while simultaneously leading me to unexpected heights of achievement and blah blah blah. I cut myself significantly more slack these days, which is a result of hitting a certain psychological wall so hard that the darker assholish portion of myself that sat in the backseat and critiqued my every move flew out through the windshield. He crawled back into his position afterward, sure, but did so bloodied and humbled and less bombastic with his mindfuckery. This, of course, was a bonus.
The only good role self-pity plays in my life is as a catalyst for reminding myself how much I hate self-pity. Recently I’ve caught myself very subtly wandering into a ‘Poor Me’ frame of mind. This tends to infuriate, as I have nothing but blessings to count and a store of memories that support this counting. While it’s true that we can all find little corners of our lives that could possibly be better in ways large or small, dwelling on them is a fast-track to the self-pity for which I have no patience. It’s the recognition of my inability to still see clearly the fine line that separates ‘Legitimate Beef’ from ‘Ambivalent Horeshit’, however, that makes me less prone to default toward one side over the other.
Instead of automatically throwing the bullshit flag on my more self-critical internal monologue, I allow it a voice. There’s a prosecutor and a defense present to make their arguments, with me sitting above as the gavel-swinging judge giving consideration to both points of view. I see the prosecutor as the dart-throwing backseat driver who relentlessly bombards me with the evidence of why my life is empty, why through my own and others relentless drive to make life difficult I currently find myself less than fulfilled, and how as the result of such overwhelming conspiracy I’ve earned the right to slap the sticky label of ‘victim’ to my forehead. The defense then unrolls a very long scroll and begins to illustrate specifically how full of shit the prosecution is. Occasionally the defense’s argument will be bolstered with evidence such as this, which provides just enough of a reality check to make the prosecution pee himself a little.
So, I take the defense’s closing remarks to heart as he winds up his scroll: “You are extraordinarily fortunate to be doing what you are and where you are doing it, so let’s shove a cork in the ‘Poor Me’, shall we?”
Prosecution: Um….nothing further, your honor.
Sir @ November 24, 2008