Posts Tagged ‘at cross purposes’

Re-booting Our Election: What Will You Do?

November 4, 2014

So, today is Election Day—midterm elections, to be exact. Fortunately, here in DC, we haven’t been subject to a non-stop barrage of campaign ads this time ‘round, but if you have–my sympathies. However, this post is not about casting ballots (although it’s your DUTY as a member of a democracy to do so! Too may people fought too hard to get you to a place where you can, so get busy–even if the candidates are lousy). This post is about what you elect to do…with your life.


How winning a candidate are you? What’s your slogan for life?


Right about now, you’re probably shaking your head and muttering something along the lines of “Who knows?” or “What the hell is she talking about this time?” I get it. Only, when you really start thinking about this, I bet you can gin up an answer. To make it easier, let’s approach this from a different angle. How have you elected to view your life? What’s been your mantra? What I mean is, have you dedicated yourself to establishing some preponderant theme about who you are in the world? Examples of which include, “I’m the best at everything!” to “I’ll show you who’s boss” to “Poor me, I never get what I want” to “I hate them and I’m gonna make sure everybody knows how bad they are.” You have an imagination; you can dream up others…


We all have different campaign themes at different stages of our lives, but there’s likely to be an overriding campaign slogan which encapsulates who you believe yourself to be—this is what you’ve elected as your primary slogan!


So, what is it?


When I reflect on my life, there’s at least one theme that evidences itself, repeatedly. It’s worked to my benefit and detriment—but its always there. I have an inexplicably fierce streak of independence running through me that has often resulted in situations where I’ve walked away from a “sure thing” because I refused to trade my independence for security. I refuse to make the necessary trade offs to guarantee stability in my life. I know that there’s never a “sure” thing, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting it. So, I’m at cross purposes with myself. I’m seeking something that I absolutely, positively veer away from anytime I get close to achieving it.


How’s that for fucked up?


I tell myself that at least I am aware of what it is I’m doing. At least then I can work on calming those fears of getting trapped, thus allowing me to make progress in achieving my goal of learning how to stay put and make long term commitments without worrying that doing so will extinguish my ability to be me.


You do this, too. You may not see clearly what it is that makes you chase your own tail, but it’s there. What is it that you’re trying to work out in your life? Do you use your career as a way to sort out your relationship to the world? Do you consider your background or manners as proof positive that you “belong” and are “good enough” to associate with whomever you’ve identified as desirable? Maybe you’re so busy trying to establish that you’re busier, smarter, and far more important than anyone else that you, literally, elbow your way to the front of the line. Acknowledging what it is you’re doing enables you to reconsider if you still need to think like this, to see the world from this perspective, to move forward.


Whatever “it” is, you’ve elected it the theme of your life.

Perhaps it’s time for a re-count.

 Hanging Chads


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