Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Great Divide... part 2

So back to constitution...

What makes a person who lives well live that specific way?
Neatness. Perfectionist. Cleanliness. Attention to detail.

Is it personal pride? Clarity? Dedication to aesthetics?
Self-esteem? Or is it something all together different....
subliminal drive? Competitiveness? Neurosis? Obsessiveness?

Is a person with a less-attractive or less controlled home
a sign of lacking self-interest? Or self-abuse even? Apathy?
Dirtiness? Lacking standards? Or is that merely conflicted value
judgment, too? Instead it could be a more relaxed, laid-back,
enjoyable lifestyle? Free from concerns about others' opinions?
Focus on the important things?

I worry sometimes that my lifestyle reflects how I feel about
myself. I wonder if there is correlation between my personal
upkeep and my success. Would more attention to appearances
mean the difference in improved quality of life? Or would it
just be a bunch of time wasted on trying to impress others?

I, like most, see myself reflected back in the eyes of others.
When I am by myself, a certain way of doing suits me fine.
When I become conscious of others' observations, I become
a bit more concerned about how things appear. Who among us
has not tried to pull the house together when we know someone
is stopping by? If we care enough to impress a visitor, wouldn't we
want the same respect for our self?

These are all generalities, too. Granted. Not all wealthy people
are clean freaks (and how!) and not all poor people are slobs.
That's a gross exaggeration. But there is I suppose a deep
parallel in my mind between the two personalities.

But I have known some people who really work hard to keep their
house--and personal appearance--immaculate. You would never know
their income based on appearances. But what's the distinctness
between healthy pride and being concerned with what others think?

There are also those who front in a negative way; putting all
their money to impressing others while they do without the
essentials. Even rich folks who run themselves into irreversible
debt trying to do for folks, impress, and live a lifestyle they can't
afford. They risk future security for the illusion in the moment.
Maybe wealth does have its own set of problems.

I wonder what is behind things...I like to know what makes things
tick. I wonder why my mother feels the need to live in a house
that looks like a museum...and can't get any enjoyment out of it
as a result. I wonder why my friend is more concerned with the
upkeep of all the house-cleaning details than his own health, as
he runs around frantically trying to 'get it all done.'

It seems to me the idea of maintaining a standard is purely
exhausting work. An ideal...an image...a glimpse of perfection.....
it's very tedious and demanding. And it's never done. That's a
hard way to live...keeping everything "in its place."
Upset, worry, obsession...I don't want to live that way.

Worrying about appearances.....achieving standards....to what
end? Who are we trying to impress? Family? Friends? Neighbors?
Strangers? Ourselves? Ghosts? Are we chasing our own tails here?
If people love us and care for us, then they do so as is.
Impressing others won't adhere them to us, and if that's who they
are and what they're interested in, why would we want them?

When do we get enough 'nice things' to be happy?
It doesn't get packed in the coffin with us...not that it would
do much good. Expensive paintings and big screen televisions
don't fend off loneliness. Fancy restaurants don't make us complete.
They may give a false sense of superiority, which can be a
substitute for completeness, I suppose. There are all kinds of
proxies for completeness and contentedness. Including giving up
and not having any concern for self-care.

Vulnerability, loneliness, incompleteness, fear, not feeling
good enough...these are all part of the human condition. We all
feel it in varying degrees at varying times.

When we medicate those feelings with possessions and other
expenditures, it's another form of addictive escape. There are
pluses and feeling good and euphoria highs involved, but when
the reality sets in, there is only the 'solution' of spending more
or attaining more to try and stave off the hollow inner feeling.

The need wasn't met, the expectation didn't get fulfilled, and each
time we medicate we find our 'normal' that needs to be maintained
gets a little harder to reach. Because we aren't addressing the
need at the root.

(to be continued).....

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