Sunday, July 31, 2005

strength and weakness

I wonder if all our strengths are tied to our weaknesses - and vice versa? Each strength, each weakness, having a yin/yang kind of relationship -- each an extension of the same quality -- just positively or negatively finding form in action. (By positive or negative form I don't mean what is socially acceptable/rewardable as "positive" - because there are times when our "positive" choices are at odds with the socially accepted /rewarded behavior. I could go off on this idea -- but I'll restrain myself).

I'm pretty self-aware -- identifying my feelings and understanding why I feel them is pretty easy. When I eat for comfort or watch TV to avoid reality, out of feelings of anxiety or fear, I know I'm doing it and why. When I pull away from someone that I like because I'm afraid I'm going to get hurt -- I'm aware of that.

I guess I appreciate this -- I think it gives me a depth and height of awareness, comprehension, and appreciation that I wouldn't normally have. For example (a small silly one), it helps me to appreciate the little things -- like how when I'm feeling panicked with my anxiety stuff -- even something as small as making my bed gives me a feeling of hope and strength for the next task (even when I don't make my bed until 2:30 in the afternoon. It still works). I can use this to get through what would otherwise be an impossible day.

But this self-awareness also means that I'm calculated and careful, and I hate that. I try to be honest and straightforward in my relationships with others -- but since it's a deliberate effort then it's somewhat calculated as well. It makes me wonder what the "real" me is. I often wonder who I would be if my memory were erased. Would my personality change? Would I become the sum total of my habits -- a scary thought since most of my natural "habits" are bad while my conscious choices (which come from my experience and my memories rather than my "character") are the only ones that give me hope for a better tomorrow. When it comes down to it, I think that my natural "character" is pretty bad. I don't feel naturally kind or sympathetic or honest or virtuous or anything -- all of these come with some kind of spiritual/emotional/mental effort. If left to my own nature, I think I'd be selfish, lazy, and fearful. I'm shy by nature. I hate leaving my comfort zone - physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially. Its when I'm forced from my comfort zone, however, that I actually begin to feel alive -- that's when I am happiest.

This self-consiousness is also why I can't dance, and I very rarely let go, and I don't know if I've ever been uninhibited. It's not a wild lack of inhibitions that I long for -- being hypnotized or using alcohol or drugs so that I can act out normally repressed impulses has never appealed to me. I just wish I could experience total honesty. I wish I could feel what it's like to be me -- without making the decision of who that should be. I wish that I could know what it's like to "dance like no one's watching". As cheesy as that phrase might be, I've never known that feeling. And I want to.