Many of you have written in about Perspective is (almost) everything, sharing your stories about when you have been incapable of shifting to the left or to the right, backward or forward because a piece of plutonium has lodged itself in your ass. Thank you for trusting me with your secrets.
Which I will now meet and raise a: nothing fucks my shit up more than when there is imbalance in my life. Not only does plutonium camp out in my bottom, my ankles become shackled by it to an immovable object. If we were in a graphic novel, I would be glued to Thor’s Hammer.
Speaking of which — God damn, he is a piece, isn’t he?! And then there’s this photo wherein his clothes make him look v v smart.
Right. I often find that when I can’t change my perspective, I redefine my balance instead. Meaning, I sit down and map out what it is that has me fixated in one spot. From there, I almost always find that I have over-extended myself and tipped the scales.
My absolutely biggest and most cutting problem is also what makes me the happiest — I am most satiated when those I care about are receiving from me. I was taught that Faith matters are best expressed through actions, and Islam has always time and again made it clear that the way I treat people is an extension of myself, and thereby it is an extension of the religion itself.
You lie to someone? You cheat someone? You hurt someone? That says more about you than the person you are affecting. I was also raised to extend this perspective to the blame game. I don’t blame others for my behavior. I don’t tell anyone that I did X because they did Y. I own my shit from 0 to 60 and before I commit X, I make my feelings known about Y.(1)
This is what it means to behave with integrity and responsibility. And it is also the only way to ensure that my happiness is — to the greatest extent possible — equally my responsibility. Everyone is battling in this world, and I don’t need to give them my shit to carry. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not healthy. Sadly, we live in a society of entitled assholes who would willingly hand over their shit to others before (if ever) they engage it themselves.
Right. In the same vein, you behave with integrity? You behave with generosity? You behave with kindness? These are equally reflections of who you are.
Back to the imbalance. Almost 100% of the time, it looks a little like this: (1) a relationship (platonic or otherwise) where the other party used to meet me half-way. Always — absolutely always — there was a total balance in terms of initiation (whether it was a request to spend time together, or virtual interactions like being available on bbm); until, (2) I kept behaving in the same manner but they did not.
Me, I have a few hard-lines and this is one of the things about which I am extremely particular because I actively and consciously work to ensure that I never, ever, am the one who initiates the stopping unless I have had a conversation with the other party.
I would really like to tell you that I am very Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about giving for the sake of giving, but that would make me a lying asshole. I like to give, and I like to receive; this being something which runs pretty deeply in me and must be rooted in some traumatic event because my reaction to imbalance of this kind is quite severe, one of the few instances where The Shut-Off Valve remains active.
I give; you receive.
You give; I receive.
Rinse and repeat.
Else, and after having a conversation about my needs — and then if they are not met — I tap out of the relationship completely in order to regain my sense of balance. Not a little, but rather entirely. The person in question stops having access to any and all parts of me and my world because there are enough people with whom the above formula works.
If said individual wishes to re-engage, they have to do double-duty. Again, the only reason I can have these rules of engagement are because I abide by them. I would never expect this of people unless I too could deliver, because I am not a self-involved entitled piece of kaka. I’m just crazy. Two very different things.
I have placed myself in these situations enough times to know that it’s simply not worth it. Honestly, there are so many other individuals who will take care to ensure that they don’t jump off the teeter-totter while my feet are swinging in the air. Relationships really are this simple, and the people who tell you they aren’t are the ones fucking shit up. It’s the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you, jackass.
If you can’t get behind that in my world, you don’t get to share my teeter-totter. Unless you’re Thor and you want to play a little Hide and Go Hammer
Maha, yes please and thank you.
(1) This should never be misunderstood as an absolution from your / my responsibility to treat people in the best way possible, to treat people in a way which least hurts them, in a way which is most beneficial to them (and so most beneficial to you).