The Answer is More Crazy, Not Less
I used to try to hide my crazy.
Maybe we all do.
Who wants to look like an emotional wreck?
Who wants to get defensive at a relatively benign comment that is directed your way,
or become overly sensitive because someone didn’t respond to you the way that you wanted?
Nobody wants to appear these ways.
Nobody wants to seem crazy.
And, yet, I propose that giving our crazy some room to stretch out on the couch may be the absolute BEST thing a person can do.
The rationale is this: anything we repress (try to stuff under the bed) is bound to come out in the open.
It’s as real as any of the laws of thermodynamics.
Wy do we do it, then?
Because we want other people to like us. We want to seem like we have it under control.
We want to be–or at least appear–normal.
As in we have our shit together.
But it’s almost inevitable that anything we try to hide in life will attract just the right person to call our stuff out from hiding.
And here’s my main point–
we shouldn’t fight it.
We should actually welcome it.
Surrender to it.
The problem is that it’s so damn counter-intuitive.
Because we naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure.
Hiding our crazy allows us to avoid pain–
but only temporarily.
But that’s good enough for most of us. We just would rather not think about the pain we are delaying.
We ignore it and go on our happy little ways.
an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
Then, we’re screwed.
We meet that person whose very presence in our lives forces our crazy to the surface.
We fight and resist, but the irony is that the more we resist it, the crazier our crazy actually gets!!!
Do you get that?
Think about that one for yourself.
Darth Vader to Luke: “Search your feelings; you know it to be true.”
Last night I had an incident with my roommate.
It wasn’t all that bad, but some of my stuff was coming out.
At first I denied it and tried to put it back on him, but he said, “No way, man. This is your stuff.”
But then I realized that he was right. And I apologized.
Luckily(?), I’ve had to do this many times in my life–i.e., apologize for being a dumb ass–so it’s actually getting a lot easier.
But here’s the rub: I was unconscious of it in the moment.
We are totally unawares of most of our crazy.
In fact–and this is the big distinction–if we were actually aware of it and owned it, it wouldn’t be so bad.
So, I know there is an internal contradiction here. Earlier I said that we hide our stuff intentionally.
I think we are somewhat aware of our crazy, and we’re often somewhat conscious enough to hide it in the moment.
However, I have worked on a different plan: to just let shit fly.
Yeah, it causes messes, but I’m also finding that the messes that are created allow for a new (albeit painful) discovery that can help me see something I’ve not known about myself.
It helps me start to peel back the layers of untruth of the onion that is me to get to the juicy center of awesomeness.
I am lucky to have people in my life who are close to me that are willing to entertain these mishaps for the sake of my growth in consciousness. You know who you all are, and I deeply say, thank you.
And maybe that’s the key.
Or at least a key.
To have friends that you can take your mask off with and just be the crazy you.
If they are good friends, meaning they truly love you, they will have patience knowing that you’re on your path, stumbling forwards towards greater consciousness.
They won’t take your crazy too personally.
However, and I’ll start ending this long blog with this, that it’s RIDICULOUSLY IMPROBABLE WITH PEOPLE YOU ARE INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN, SUCH AS IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP.
Because, in general, we find it unbearably difficult to not take things personally in our relationships.
We get defensive; we over-react; we are sensitive; we are…
And that can be a good thing.
we can start to differentiate our stuff from our partner’s stuff.
We can ask ourselves this simple question:
is this his/her stuff, or is it my stuff?
If the answer is the former, leave it with them. Don’t take it on.
If the answer is the latter, well, then, there is something to look at, and we can do our best to own our stuff.
i.e., to be responsible.
To own it means to say, “Shit. My bad. This is not about you; it’s really about me.”
That will attract compassion and listening from our partner.
As long as we play the blame game, there are no winners in relationships.
And–maybe another kicker–if after a lot of time and effort you start to really believe that it’s their stuff and not yours,
it might be time to pack your bags and leave.
Because a) either you’re right, and staying means not accepting the way someone is and hence trying to change them to be more like how you want them to be (which will most likely end up in colossal failure) or…
b) you’re full of your own bullshit, and you’re just going to keep attacking each other and trying to prove that you’re right.
Neither way ends up very well.
It’s all perfect in the end of the day.
What I love about life is that when we finally do WAKE UP and choose temporary pain for real pleasure, life starts to get better immediately.
Being a human being ain’t easy.
There is a Jewish story from the Talmud where the Rabbis ask the question whether it would have been better had human beings not been created at all.
After all, we’re bumbling messes!
But we’re divine messes.
When we embrace all of us–the good, bad and the crazy–a new space opens up. We start to feel more comfortable in our skin, and if we are looking to attract another into our life, that self-acceptance, or self-love, is very, very attractive.
Once we own our crazy, it has much less control over us. We get to just smile when it comes out, nod our heads and move on. On the other hand, the crazy that we don’t own rules our lives.
Ultimately, it’s not our crazy that drives people way; it’s the crazy that we won’t own.