Coming down from the mountaintop of enlightenment…I slipped in some shit.
It’s one thing to be in a space of equanimity and loving kindness for all humanity when you’re sitting in meditative solitude. It’s quite another to be full of peace and goodwill when you’re tired and late and just trying to get a few things from the grocery store and they’ve been doing renos and you can’t frickin’ find anything and you finally take your carefully chosen eleven items to the express checkout only to get yelled at by the guy behind you because as you are just now realizing this is now the FIVE item express checkout and you suddenly discover suck my rocks is now in your interpersonal repertoire which is funny ‘cause you’re a girl and you don’t have any rocks and you wonder if that phrase has any weight when your girl bits don’t actually have any… well… weight.
Um..yeah…but, I digress.
After my grand epiphany earlier this year, I’ve been clear and focused and connected, moving in a really awesome headspace as I got out there and got stuff done. Problem is, getting out there means interacting with people not usually in my sphere. You pick your friends, love your family, everybody else you just have to work with. I’ve been a bit sheltered, not having a regular day job, so most people I encounter in my life are of my own choosing, and I guess I’ve been filtering for people I get, and people I like. As my interpersonal world expands I’m starting to discover some people are assholes; and an even greater number of the people out there are utter nutbars.
My new life has me working with someone who is so far up the crazy tree I couldn’t even get her down with a good sized rock. I mean there’s monkeymind and then there’s: pardon me, but I think your monkey has been dropping acid. This has left me rather confounded as I’m used to a group of people who, while we are all prone to a bit of loony limb-swinging, can get ourselves back down to earth with a little support from a currently not-crazy friend. So my first efforts with this woman were to try and talk her down from the crazy tree, which being as she’s so far up as to be unreachable pretty much meant I was climbing up with her and shouting stuff from slightly lower branches. Not particularly effective.
I have a friend with a rather difficult boss. Her peers often discuss and compare their strategies for managing the issue, such as dazzle: throwing data and stats at him until he’s utterly distracted. Her colleagues tease her, tell her her management strategy is poke the bear, which of course is a very bad strategy. I could never understand why my friend would poke the bear. She’s smart, she’s savvy, she knows poking a bear is never a good idea. NOW I understand. You can’t help but poke the bear: confronted with bear, you try and address the bear, engage with the bear, to deal with the bear issue – failing to realize any attention you pay to the bear just perturbs the bear. DO NOT POKE THE BEAR!
I’ve been trying to talk this chick down from the crazy tree, failing to realize she’s so comfortably ensconced she’s been knitting little mittens to put on all the leaves. Every attempt I make to try and address the fact she’s in the crazy tree, and maybe she’d like to come down from the crazy tree, just gives her more things to be crazy about. I finally figured out it was on me to recalibrate my noise to signal filter, quit worrying about whether she’s talking crazy, and instead look for action items in all that chatter. Which mostly there isn’t. It’s now more like watching the crazy cat lady rant and hurl felines: unless she hucks a cat right at you all you need do is step aside and let her go.
I find that really hard to do because: a) it makes me sad to see someone suffer from their own self induced knicker-twisting, when they could learn to let it go and live a much easier life, and b) she is annoying the shit out of me. For the first time in a long time I’m finding myself with the very earnest desire to punch somebody in the head, and that is reminding me that maybe I might have a bit of stuff to work on yet myself.
For all that I’ve learned, I haven’t yet learned how to stay out of the shit.
If you like reading about philosophy and shit, you might like: Don’t Shit Where You Eat. ‘Cause, I’m nice ‘n shit… but I’m also a badass.