“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”
― Brené Brown
Ah Yeah, I have experienced all of the above. You know what’s funny, I am considered by most people I meet and know to be a genuine person. Yes it’s true. The thing that most people do not see is the struggle beneath the surface. The struggle has been more intense at different times of my life. Whenever I have put others before myself and my happiness the struggle ensues. The source of this struggle is the soul and ego clashing – what other’s believe I should be doing and what my heart says. Sometimes it is my own mind and heart battling one another. In all honesty – I have no idea where I would be if I didn’t meditate. Anyhooch, on with the rest of the banter I feel compelled to share with you – read on….
The Real Shit
From living in New York City to an ashram in the country I have had front row seats in this game of life. Seen the newbies fresh to the city from somewhere completely foreign to big city lights trying to carve out a career in finance, flip that coin to the now burnt out city dwellers retreating from the world thinking that an ashram would be a safe bet. For guests a weekend getaway to the country can be a great pick me up.
When you are in a big city like New York the ‘crazy’ is right in your face. You see it coming a mile away, for some folks it freaks them out or they laugh it off. Switch gears to an ashram where you expect people to be gracious and loving. There are some who have reached that state of ‘oneness’ and then there are the others slugging through their garbage just like everyone else. You expect more in an ashram, right – well it’s better not to have high expectations. We’re talking about human beings here. The idea that living in a small community that is geared towards self-development is going to somehow be a cake walk is ridiculous. People are people no matter where you are and folks that are really working on their shit well, let’s just say there are going to be some not so nice sights while burning out the crap that has settled to the bottom of our subconscious mind. All of this mishegas I can handle – to see people at their most vulnerable and being honest about what they need to wade through – to me is a BEAUTIFUL thing, because it’s REAL. I have been to the depths of my shadow and come back to the surface, life is not for wimps, especially when you are keeping it real. (that’s another blog)
The Fake Shit
Have you ever met people who try to come off like they are so spiritual. They wear mala beads around their wrists, they smile and tell you about all the wonderful things they are doing and how many friends they have on Facebook that follow their every move. They wear patchouli and are vegan’s. These are the same people who will tell you all about the misfortunes of others and are almost relish in the fact that they are ‘failures’ in some fashion or another. They can also be really cheap with people in need. They talk about being generous, but in fact they wont share in a real & meaningful way. They love sycophants and prefer to keep those types of people near them. They will also dump all of their problems on you and the minute it’s your turn to speak, they say I have to go. They do not triumph in your successes. You have seen these people – I know you have.
There are also those that appear to be generous, they are benefactors to the needy. Attending fund-raisers where the names are on the programs. They smile and nod and all the while they treat their family, housekeeper or grounds men with a dismissive air.
These folks seemingly have everything together, the house, perfect jobs, perfect hair, perfect cars, perfect clothes and they will tell you that their lives are great! Then you find out one or both are shtupping someone on the side. There is a lack of depth to their words & actions, an inability to empathize with others who are not in their ‘class’ of people.
The thing is when we are working from a place of being genuine it is much easier to wade through the piles of shit people dish out. Not from a place of judgement, but objectivity and compassion.
It may sound like I am judging, but in fact I am sharing my observations. Thing is I usually get branded as the pain in the ass when I voice these things to people – some are actually offended. It ruffles their feathers and creates friction within themselves – uh, maybe because they are phony. Or it frightens them, who wants someone revealing the lies they have built around their lives.
Dealing with the Shit
Do you have a hard time around phony people – How do we deal with the lack of authenticity in other people – one way would be Non-attachment – being detached. we observe, stop expecting people to be a certain way and just let them be. It doesn’t matter in the end. All that matters is that we are authentic. Not that we become apathetic – quite the opposite. We need to reckon with our own issues – I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of work to do.
I love this picture and quote – it’s so darn simple to say & takes incredible awareness to live it. A testament to Non-Attachment, Live and let Live. As always it’s been a pleasure sharing with you – VL