Today my mind’s on security- not financial security although it’s very important- I mean emotional security, the state of feeling comfortable in your own skin and with others. I don’t have it and in my dotage I am beginning to question my rationalization that it isn’t really important.
During my working years, one of the cliché management training exercises was about trust. They would ask you to stand with your back to your partner and then fall backward with the belief that he would catch you. I’ve never had to participate but I’m sure that if necessary I would happily trust my partner in the exercise to do his part. No trust is necessary because the exercise is a sham. It’s too public for anyone to risk not doing his job. Letting even a lousy bastard fall while your co-workers are watching would ruin your career.
Who can you trust?
The exercise seems to tell a story but it means nothing because it’s not real. Never in life have I needed someone to catch me from falling on my ass. The exercise is just an allegory to represent emotional support which is something entirely different. Just because I can trust a co-worker to catch me physically when the entire office is watching in no way convinces me that he will catch me emotionally or, more important, that he will want to.
Security in life is built on trust. When the demons come- as they will – who will have your back emotionally? Who will tell you to ignore the demon’s bluster threats? Who will promise to hold your hand until they leave? Who will cheer you up when you feel alone and helpless? Who will tell you that you have what it takes to prevail, that you are valuable and important? Who can give you encouragement when the demon attacking you is you? Who can you trust? [click to continue…]
Today’s life question.
For me, security in life depends on maintaining tight control of my actions. I use reason and logic to organize and protect me from outside forces. Good as my skill might be in anticipating and deflecting threats, there are still surprises. Life isn’t predictable. It doesn’t signal it’s moves. I could do a better job if I knew what was coming and had time to prepare but that isn’t how life works. We have to roll with the punches, bob and weave and put up a front while scrambling to deal with immediate problems and maintaining a steady hand on the tiller to stay on course.
Who’s in charge?
Just like the mixed metaphors in the preceding paragraph indicate, it is messy staying in control. Every time a plan seems to be working something will happen to mess it up. It’s not just external forces that threaten order. There are also the threats to peace of mind that come from within. Logic and reason are limited in preventing and deflecting self criticism coming from my emotional side. Deny it as I try, emotion can slice through logic and drag me down to despair in an instant and once I go down, it is a long struggle for logic to regain control and lift me up.
If logic is like a stream, then emotion is like an ocean.
Streams have direction and landmarks. They are easy to navigate even if they present limited options. You start here and you end up there. Just go with the flow. [click to continue…]