I seem to have been thrown into a wood chipper of insults the week before I wrote this. At various times I was called unprofessional, lazy, cruel, ignorant, and a liar. These pronouncements were made by people who clearly know me not at all.
I’d also been informed that my apparent past cruelty has generated a very long, narcissistic, bitter, self-indulgent poem in which the author beats himself up for being ugly, a loser, and the stuff of nightmares, rather than the all-American boy of my dreams; dreams that anyone who bothered to scratch the surface would know are of a kind that I never have had and never will have. I’ve never sought perfection. What would I do with it?
I’m not that shallow, and those types of insults are not in my nature. That, and it would take a special kind of person to be that lowly and beneath contempt so as to merit some iron-clad, lifetime-guaranteed seal of disapproval from me. From a purely statistical standpoint, most of us, this person included, are average. (So sorry to disappoint you out of your exaggeration.) That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact.
I’m average. You’re average. The average person is, well… average. If you think you stand out that much, you think way too highly (or lowly) of yourself.
But this is a person who wears his wounds on his chest like badges of honor, a man in his 50’s who still blames the shit we all go through in high school for his current misfortunes. It saddens me, but no one can heal him. He can only heal himself. And to do that, he must first fall out of love with the cruel, cruel world in which he seems to take a perverse pleasure in dwelling.
Ah, but if the world is cruel, you don’t have to try, do you? Failure is pretty much guaranteed. No need for higher education or taking risks or making an extra effort that way! You need not stick your neck out at all. Whew. What a relief!
Why do we give the negative so much extra weight? We all do it. These things ferment in our brains, producing gasses that seem to alter our judgment and perspective in the most toxic of ways. Neurological methane.
Hmmm. Maybe I’ve been tossed into the insult blender for a reason. It’s an opportunity for growth. But I’m not gonna lie. It smarts. And it stinks. But then growth isn’t always pretty.
This much I know: I’ve wasted entirely too much time trying to reconcile my knowledge of the person that I am with the opinions that I’ve been tarred and feathered with this week. Why do I let them clog my pores when I’ve received so many more compliments than insults in my lifetime?
You can give someone a million compliments, support them financially and emotionally, do everything you can to broaden their horizons, and yet all that is forgotten based on some remark that you can’t remember or even imagine having said. That’s the remark that generates a poem. (Or, let’s face it, a blog post.)
Insults are somehow more emotionally dense. They are the virtual fruitcake of words. I get it. I really do. That’s why it’s so important to be kind to one another.
The more you chew on these insults, the more altered your truth becomes, until nothing good can be celebrated or remembered. What a waste. I’m not going to live my life eating that fetid stew, no matter how filling it is.
I choose pragmatism, and therefore, joy.
Thanks, Angiportus, for coming up with the title for this post!
An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5