Busy Being Humans

An old song of mine that has words related to duality http://jenniferstuart.bandcamp.com/track/let-the-noises-in-2

An old song of mine that has words related to duality http://jenniferstuart.bandcamp.com/track/let-the-noises-in-2

The Buddha pointed out long ago that we do not have a solid self. The denial of this fact can lead to suffering.

I’m noticing that we are expected to feel, often times, one way. Either hurt or happy, sensitive or tough, falling apart or totally together.

I’m noticing that this isn’t true to most of our experience.

If someone gives me criticism, it is one of the most potent times for me to notice that split. On one hand, I may really try to take in what they are saying so that I can fully absorb it. On the other hand, I may be a little hurt in a little kid way. On the third hand, I might be touched and thankful that they actually gave me feedback at all.

But it’s hard to put all of those things into a tidy sentence in the moment, or to wear it as a sensible facial expression.

When you think about how we are presenting ourselves to much of our world right now, via Facebook and texts and twitter and anything else, this idea is even more pronounced. You write a single status update, for every single friend. You send a text with no voice intonation, maybe even to someone you just met who doesn’t know the nuances of your speech patterns. We constantly seem to be in situations where having one thing to say or feeling one way is appropriate, expected, and normal.

This seems simple enough, doesn’t it? I think it’s a nice thing to think about, especially as we listen to other people talk. It’s sometimes useful to remember that every feeling has a whole lot of others that are also there, not always expressed, and not even always incredibly conscious.

My theory is that the more we all are aware of these things, the less we will feel like we are “doing it wrong” when we actually are just being humans, and the expectations apply more easily to robots. And the more we allow for this type of thing in others, the more everyone else gets to feel less isolated themselves.

I just lost my well-loved job. Now is a time of many mixed feelings. Maybe that’s why this topic is on my mind in this way. I spent a lot of the day making jewelry on my living room floor, listening to local music and thinking about the future. I have to figure something out soon, and until then, I’ll sellย  necklaces at little markets and spend what I saved as little as possible while I wait for more potential work with the same organization to come back.

But yes, these are interesting times. I hope everyone is well, and I hope that I’ll be writing more often soon, I know it feels so great when I do!

Do you think that you often times feel just one way, or is it usually a mix?

Do you feel like it’s easy to express that mix in a way that people understand?

Do people ever expect you to feel one way when you don’t?

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18 thoughts on “Busy Being Humans

  1. A Source generated vacation, I like that idea. Can you get unemployment? I think its time to take your Folk Singing career out in a Gipsy Wagon. Create a new band of traveling minstrels, with an accompanying fire eater, and contortionist. Maybe??? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Such love, sending blessings.
    Namaste
    Sindy

    • Oh my gosh I love that idea!! Haha I just don’t want to leave Austin. Maybe we could just minstrel around the city limits. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think unemployment is an option in this case, but making jewelry seems like a good temporary thing for now, and lets me learn so much more about the area in which I live. Many blessings right back at ya Sindy, I hope you are well!!

  2. Yes I think people often expect you to feel one way but when you have mixed feelings it is often telling you to pick out the best feeling to show you the avenue you should pursue.

  3. Life is a tumultuous series of up and downs. Most people only pay attention to the extremes; what’s good/what’s bad, what’s right/what’s wrong. That’s like looking at a rainbow and only seeing the colours at the ends. I hope you have fun selling jewellery and, hopefully, get a job you love again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I hate when the carpet is ripped out from under us like that – and life is so good at doing it too. There’s a good metaphor for a healthy response to such carpet ripping moments in the simple way you responded to this moment: It offers us an excellent opportunity to sit down, enter the rhythms of the moment, and see what jewelry you can make in the midst of it all. Of course, others may be more inclined to pulling out their hair or throwing ashes on their head. But ultimately, we all end up where you began: so just what thing of beauty can I make in the midst of the latest upheaval in my life?

    So sorry about the job. It sounded like you were thriving in it. Looking forward to seeing what pearl you discover in the heart of this…and if it leads, at least in the short run, to experiencing more gem posts from you here, then we who read are already blessed in this wee upheaval of yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You are always so wise ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s an ultimately pleasant upheaval. The flame of thriving and challenge was burning a bit too bright for too long, the ending was bound to come for all involved. But yes, making beautiful things in the midst of this, and appreciating the simplicity and joy of not having a very important leadership role feels like a good thing right now. I sure hope there are more gem posts!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for making me smile!

  5. First, I’d just like to say that maintaining a sensible facial expression is hard work–maybe something only Buddha could do. Second, I am sending you peace and joy, Well-Loved One. I just read this quote today, and perhaps I liked it so much because I was meant to send it straight to you (pause while I run get the book): It’s an unattributed epigraph in a book by Mark Nepo about listening, and it reads, “When wiggling through a hole the world looks different than when scrubbed clean by the wiggle and looking back.”

    I wonder if that’s from Pooh.

    • I read a quote today that said something close to: “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them,” and it was from Eeyore. I love the wiggle quote, and I was on the porch earlier thinking about that very thing. The world always looks different, depending on the angle and the situation. And sometimes the weeds and wiggles seem different after we get to know them or move past them, and noticing that whole process begin and happen freshly and uniquely each time…well..just doesn’t get old ๐Ÿ™‚
      I was just having some writer’s block, and reading your words has reminded me about Bradbury’s Zen book..which suddenly brings a feeling of great coziness and warmth to my evening. Thank you for your amazing presence in my life Vicki!

  6. I am humbled by your post … I shall think over what you have written for sometime and then reblog you to inspire others (but may be, I shall link you and summarise what I think you are trying to say right from the Buddha to your loss of job etc. ) I shall have to reflect. Thanks for sharing.

  7. As always Ms. Sturat, a very interesting post, and even though it’s been decades since I last read a post of yours (mild exaggeration) your writing is still very entertaining.
    In answer to your first question ma’am, I often feel a mix of feelings. I have often believed this to be a combination of what my head feels, along with my heart, both separately coming to different conclusions rather than working unanimously. So, I may really like something, which is my heart’s opinion, but my brain over analyses things (stupid grey matter) and concludes that I shouldn’t for some reason or another because of a certain bias or nepotism towards what it is that I like. Additionally, if I feel emotionally hurt, my brain may actually feel an opposite reaction, like rage perhaps at the very idea of me crying over spilled milk.
    Dunno if that makes any sense…In answer to your second question, well, clearly by my response to the first, very few people probably understand me when I am attempting to articulate these feelings.
    Moreover, in answer to your third question ma’am, I think people often want us to feel something that we in fact do not. This may be going off topic, but, say a person asks ‘do I look fat in this?’ the answer they are probably hoping to receive is ‘no’. Regardless of any question, I have found that people often want to be lied to with regards to certain questions relating towards one’s physicality or work, et al, even though they often insist on acquiring the truth. I believe that people often want to be handled with kid gloves and have others feel generally positive ideologies with regards to certain things.
    Again, very interesting post! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I completely understand the head/heart thing- that is probably where a lot of my mixed feelings come from as well! It’s that little battle they have, they are just using different ways of understanding things, and it makes total sense they would disagree/disconnect and I feel like your expression of that brought a whole lot of sense and groundedness to my own experience ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m so glad you found the post interesting. I hope there are more to come soon, of even more interest and more elaborate articulation, it sure has been awhile ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great post.

    I lost a job not long ago, and I found out one job yesterday I was hoping to get, I didn’t get. Made a post about it on my blog, but the general gist was I was pretty sad, but then trying to take appreciation of the fact I got to the final rounds. Every situation as multiple perspectives and that is often our way out when need one.

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