sorry away so long. horribly busy. i'll pretend you missed me.
here's something i was talking to a friend about recently. maybe i posted about it before, not sure.
i used to be very uncomfortable with/around strongly-expressed emotion -- joy, anger, lust, grief, whatever -- it made me feel nervous, and i liked things to be under control.
at this stage of my life, however, i've become different. i feel like those emotions (and others) are what make us alive -- they're what prove we're not a rock, or a tree, or emotionally/physically dead.
the ego has a lot of defense mechanisms to avoid feeling uncomfortable things like worry, fear, shame, uncertainty, sadness, etc.
what i used to do about being around strong emotion is what people do all the time, only i didn't realize it before:
when people expressed strong emotion, i believed that they shouldn't do that so much.
when X person does or says something, and we feel [uncomfortable feeling] in response, our immediate reaction is that X person shouldn't have said or done what they said/did.
so we invoke some social rule, or religious tenet, or "helpful suggestion", or whatever.
IOW, we put it back on them. they are a rude person. they should be more polite. they should tone it down. they should be more outgoing. they should be less outgoing. they should speak up more. they should learn better english. they shouldn't swear so much. they should get their teeth fixed. they should learn to drive. they should lose some weight. they should have invited us to the party. they shouldn't have invited *him* to the party. they shouldn't dress so sexy. they shouldn't ignore me.
they they they they should should should should...
but almost always, all that's really happening is WE FEEL a certain way. 90% of the time, others' actions only affect us in how we feel in response. seldom is anyone actually hurting us, or taking away our stuff, or hurting someone we love, etc. it's about us, not them. and we don't want to (or don't know how) to take ownership of that feeling and accept it and (if needful) do something about feeling that way.
how often have you said or thought "he/she should/shouldn't do X"? and i bet you have a solid reason behind why they should/shouldn't do whatever it is. but if your reason, your rule, is so valid and important that you feel the need to judge another person's life, why specifically them right now?
if X person should lose some weight, why aren't you commenting about the other 100,000,000 chubby people in the USA?
if so-and-so should learn to drive, or swear less, or dress less nerdy, why? i'll tell you: because it would make YOU more comfortable.
that, plus making ourselves feel better by comparison, is 90% of why we express opinions about other people.
or anyway, that's what i think.