Archives for posts with tag: human primates

Sometimes it is a thing; we are creatures of emotion and reason. Just like that sentence, emotion generally arrives to the party first. Reason shows up later. I’m super grumpy today. I don’t have any sort of reason for that, it’s simply how I am feeling, at this moment (and for several hours worth of moments since shortly after my work day began). There is nothing specifically “wrong”. I’m just… grumpy. Correction. I feel grumpy. I feel cross. I feel irritable. I feel prone to taking things personally. I feel “out of sorts” and generally aggravated. I feel impatient. These are how I am feeling.

…Still, they’re just feelings

Emotions are funny things. We can argue the factual basis of a subject. We can disagree with each other regarding our understanding of circumstances, and our recollections of details; we are each having our own experience. We’re not seeing the world from identical perspectives. We can’t actually argue against an emotion, though. Those are our own. Not subject to disagreement. Period. I feel grumpy. No one actually gets to tell me that’s “incorrect” as an emotional experience. (People may try, but as arguments go, an argument against someone’s emotional experience is rife with thought-errors, fallacies, and a peculiar assumption of entitlement, inasmuch as it presupposes that other person’s emotional experience is somehow superior or has more substance or value.) I’m mostly not even letting my grumpiness “be a thing”, generally, but it is still there in the background.

…I would have been camping next week. All week. Out under the trees. No other people. Only my own agenda. Quietly sitting. Hiking. Cooking out under the sky. Sipping coffee in the morning chill. Watching the leaves unfold, and the spring flowers bobbing and swaying in the spring breezes. Content, relaxed, and face-to-face with the woman in the mirror for a few days of solitude. Pandemic life being what it is, the location where I would have been camping closed, and canceled all pending reservations, some weeks ago. So, not going is not a surprise. Hell, I’m not unhappy to have the opportunity to still enjoy a couple of those days off, in the good company of my Traveling Partner…but…

Today, right now, for no obvious reason, I feel exceedingly put out by every tiny inconvenience. I feel prone toward anger, over shit I’m not generally angry about. I really “want to rest” – but I’m not talking about physically resting this meat puppet. I need cognitive rest. I need time with myself.

It may be awhile, for all of us, before we get some needs easily met. For some folks, solitude is hard to come by right now. For others, what’s hard to come by is community. Whether we call time spent alone “solitude” or “loneliness” is largely a matter of perspective. The emotions involved belong to each of us as individuals. I sigh and alternate between sips of cold coffee left from this morning, and fizzy water that has gone flat. I don’t care for – or about – either one. It’s almost reflexive, as if I am seeking to satisfy a craving, but doing so quite incorrectly for the craving that it is. So… now what?

Eventually the emotional weather will shift, and “this too shall pass”. I could take the mood, and the moment, very personally, blowing it way out of proportion, catastrophizing it, creating monsters out of miniatures. Or… I could let this shit go. Again.

…And then again, if necessary. And again after that. Yep, again once more if I have to. Maybe another time after that. Just keeping putting it down, letting it go, and beginning again. No reason to vilify the emotions themselves; they are not the bad guy here. Far more valuable to look them over tenderly, honestly, and with as much self-compassion as I know how to practice. Then try again if I miss that mark. There is no limit on the new beginnings I can offer myself.

So… I do.

My Traveling Partner comes in for a moment, and glances at the page in front of me. “I’m sorry you’re grumpy.” He says it tenderly. Kindly. Honestly. This, too, is a moment. A pretty nice one, actually. He gets back to what he was doing. I get back to what I am doing, while taking some time for me – to savor this moment. Far too easy to become mired in my less pleasant ones, even though the lovely ones are so much more worthy of my attention. Human primates and their negativity bias. I shake my head, smiling at myself. So human.

…It helps to take a moment, for myself. Some quiet. Some solitude. A moment to begin again.

 

There’s very little we human primates do that is truly isolated from the rest, so unique and strange as to be impossible to relate to or identify with, so much so that when we behave in a fashion that is ‘out of the ordinary’ within the context of our experience not only do our friends, loved ones, and every day associates notice, so do strangers. We are interdependent, inter-associated, and interacting with each other – even when we are alone, generally, unless we sit utterly silent, motionless, and disconnected from all technology as well…which doesn’t happen for many of us, or doesn’t happen often, certainly not by choice. (I suggest it might be healthier for our own being if we did step away more than once in a while to be truly alone, and free of distraction…)  What my point is, though, is that we see each other, even when we are not really watching, and when an individual in the herd, pack, band, tribe, or community deviates from recognized norms it is noticed.

Just sayin’. You are not invisible. People notice. They probably care – what they don’t have is a window into your experience. Opening up and being who you are, because it is who you are, can be a scary process – particularly if you’ve made your way in life by wearing a mask, telling a story, or hiding your truth.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them. [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

I spent the weekend painting. In that respect my weekend was entirely and completely about me. It was quite lovely, filled with wonder, and I’m pleased with the new work. I’d leave it there, but I am a human primate, loving other human primates, and living in a family, a small band of friends, a community of people; there’s more to it than me. There’s always more to it than ‘me’. Saturday was lovely, easy, and felt natural and right pretty nearly end to end, and seemed so for all of us. Sunday less so. Other people, other choices, and there’s always room for more than one experience. I had a remarkable day painting, nonetheless, and enjoyed sharing time with my traveling partner, reading, hanging out, talking… it was lovely. My other partner was doing her own thing.

Yesterday had been planned differently; I planned to go hiking in the morning. The lovely Saturday evening, though, resulted in a request for a morning at home together, shared as a family. I happily changed my plans. Things went sideways early, and I’m pleased at how easy it has become for me to roll with changes; I like planning things, and function most comfortably when I have some loose idea of what’s to be expected. It is a powerful piece of growth, and marvelously powerful, to be so able to smile in the face of unwanted drama, change, and the randomness of life itself. There is so much less turmoil within, now.  I’m still not skilled at getting at the root of OPD and making the changes I need to, to ensure I can easily and with great contentment avoid being sucked into someone else’s drama. I can’t – and don’t want to – control someone else’s experience, choices, values or behavior; I have all the control in the world over my own. Choices.

For me The Big 5 really matter. Respect, and Consideration are huge. Openness is non-negotiable. Compassion and Reciprocity are essential to treating others, and myself, truly well. Nothing short of treating myself well, making choices that meet my needs over time, and treating others in accordance with my own Big 5 – as a minimum standard of decency for me – is acceptable at all these days. I am building my own experience on principles of mindfulness, perspective, and sufficiency, sure – but it’s my Big 5 on which I build my relationships with others, and what I require from others to build one with me.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.  [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

It’s a quiet chill Monday morning. My coffee is hot, and the tone of the morning is gentle. My traveling partner is up early, and I’ll enjoy the time I share with him, before heading to the office for a very different experience – one that I still base on my Big 5, because it’s a good way to treat others, and to be treated myself.

Today is a good day for choices that meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to stand on my strengths as a being, and as a woman. Today is a good day to smile and enjoy the small delights that are always there in the moment. Today is a good day to appreciate any connection I enjoy with another; our connections are what it is all about. Today is a good day to change the world.

"Namaste" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas. 2014 It's about the intention as much as the words.

“Namaste” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas. 2014 It’s about the intention as much as the words.