Alone This Evening

Light inside the dark.

The string lights in our dining room.

The spouse is playing D&D at AnonyCon, so it’s just me, the pup, and the dulcet tones of Joseph Arthur coming from my feeble speakers. Spent a lovely afternoon catching up with an old friend, and then came home, greeted Loki, took care of him, quoted an editing project (hope I get it!), washed a few dishes, grabbed a cranberry ginger ale, and sat down at the littlest desk we have. So, here I am.

For an introvert that craves solitude, it’s strange to admit that I don’t really like being alone at home. The quiet that offers peace is also the quiet that my anxieties use for their own sinister purposes. Instead of indulging in stuff-it-down distraction, I’ll try to follow a friend’s advice, and let them have their say.

Peace gets to speak next though.

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When People are (Really) Angry At Me: The Five Stages

Last night, someone was very cruel to me. This person intentionally said hurtful things in an accusatory tone in order to make me feel like I’m not doing enough of an important, care-related job.

I know this person was frustrated, lashing out, and perhaps (probably?) didn’t mean what he or she said. I know that I shouldn’t take words said in anger to heart.

But too often in these situations, my sensitivity gets the best of me, and I react in some traceable patterns. They’re much like the Kübler-Ross 5 stages of grief, only more avoidable and less compelling.

1) Obliviousness. The degree of anger doesn’t register at all. I’m usually not looking for intense rage directed at me–I’m a good person, right? In the conversation, I simply act politely and respond gently, as I would with your low-to-average levels of meanness. I’m on autopilot, but the wheels will start to turn soon somewhere under the surface.

2) Epiphany. Replaying what was said in my head, I realize, maybe a minute later, that the person I was speaking with was really, really mean to me.

3) Second Epiphany. I feign putting on their perspective–with no perspective from that perspective. Oh my God, they think this. They are right. It’s like the epiphany of cruelty makes room for a more painful epiphany: that cruelty stands on solid ground. It speaks the truth.

4) Single-Minded Self-Searching. I run through all evidence to support what they’ve said. I wail, and wallow in my failure as a human being.

5) Self-Searching from the Opposite Side. They’re human, too, I think, and I amass evidence to support how their words say more about them than about me. They’re not omniscient. There’s also so much to support the opposite of what they said about me.

And then 4 and 5 can cycle back and forth–between thinking and feeling the person is human and fallible and thinking and feeling the person is right and has a valid perspective. It’s something I need to keep working on. I know I’m not what they said I am, but then I know I really don’t know, and there’s always evidence to the contrary.

I guess this all illustrates how attached I am to sensing I am always being and doing good. Maybe I’ll try to sit with that epiphany today.

Comforting beast.

 

When Reading Tarot Cards Is Like Watching TV

Since this blog reflects my day-to-day preoccupations (so far, our awesome puppy, being creatively adrift, and, um, a basil plant?), it feels appropriate to write about a Tarot card reading I did for myself a few days ago. I’m still mulling it over.

I read Tarot cards like I read movies, TV shows, plays, and conversations I overhear in coffee shops: not in any particularly mystical manner, but knowing full-heartedly that I can learn something from anything, that there’s something useful in having narrative art laid before you. Beyond being entertained, if you want to, you can become a semi-reflective surface when you face it. (Yeah, very reverse-mimesis, you Aristotle fans.) If I look at how I react to characters or situations (find myself identifying with a character or person, for example) and have some semblance of self-awareness, I can learn just a bit more about myself by mulling over why I’m having a certain reaction. What features am I reflecting, what angles am I taking? It’s sort of like tossing a coin to make a decision, except you use your reaction to the random chance (No! Why wasn’t it tails?) to choose what you’ll actually do.

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