Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Thursday, November 02, 2006

You're Ugly, Too

I can be witty. It's a good skill to have. When I make people laugh, I feel as though people like me.

My wit can be a weapon as well. Actually the humor goes beyond wit at that point. It is something more like caustic sarcasm. There is something pessimistic about it, something very negative, even hostile.

I try to be aware of what I am radiating out to the universe. Is it positive and affirming, like my friend Lee who is always laughing and smiling, or is it negative and humiliating? Am I confident and hospitable or insecure and hostile?

This evening I tore into someone with some nasty sarcasm. It came out of my mouth almost reflexively. Another part of my self was listening, and was surprised by the energy behind the words. Ten minutes later, I went back to the woman and apologized for being a smart ass. Fortunately she was very forgiving.

This cynicism weighed heavily on me this evening and as I was deconstructing my hostility, I remembered a wonderful short story I read several years ago, You're Ugly, Too by Lorrie Moore, about a cynical, bitter, insecure, over-educated woman who relates to life, the universe and everything with hostility. I remember when I read the story, thinking how tragic was the main character, Zoë. How upsetting to now see something of myself reflected by Zoë.

I read a book by Henri Nouwen a year ago called Reaching Out that discussed how we relate to ourselves, to other people and to God. People who are insecure experience those relationships as loneliness, hostility and illusion. People who are confident experience those relationships as solitude, hospitality and prayer.

So I have concluded that I was insecure this evening when I was hostile. And given the place and situation, that makes sense. So perhaps I shall do a little meditation every time I go back to that place, to center myself in security and confidence.

1 comment:

aspyre said...

'Til We Have Faces.