Melting in Horrid Nightmares

The Treshers

It’s a fair comment to make, some people are never happy unless they’re unhappy. I was talking to a woman the other day who complained at how close the weather was. I said ‘Yes isn’t it lovely to get a bit of heat,’ just to see what she would say. She didn’t like it one bit and tweaked her tiny button nose to one side. Her eyes assumed a quizzical pose. There was a ‘how could anybody not agree with me’ look on her dial, ‘sure isn’t it as plain as the nose on my face?’ ‘‘Humph!’’ she proclaimed, scrunching her ruby painted mouth up in a zig-zag. She shrugged her shoulders at my comment as if she were dislodging a cement block that just landed on the back of her thick neck. She just wouldn’t allow my words to penetrate her solid armour.

This summer, my friends tell me, there are people dying of the heat in Serbia. It’s 40 degrees there and this woman is complaining about it being 20 degrees and close because her rotund mass is leaking sweat. It’s amazing how we exaggerate a discomfort when we have to deal with it. We give it the same importance as a life and death struggle, just because it directly affects us. Are we so self-absorbed that there cannot be empathy with those who are actually suffering and realize that a little discomfort is a joy?

How is it that we’ve become so disjointed from reality that we can think a slight shift in the weather possesses a major threat to our welfare? Assaulted is our sensitivity and we view things disproportionately as if the danger were a fact. It’s as if it were a national disaster to perspire in a close day.

Never does such a person hover on the midline. Either it’s very definitely cold or hot, never mild and pleasant. It’s too dry or too wet, too dull or too bright, bad or good, wrong or right. Actually, when I think about it, it’s the lack of monotony that has people climbing the walls. Any change, no matter what it is, is viewed as an unnatural disaster to our lives. We don’t like change and resist it. We are creatures of repetition and to break the habit disrupts the seamless pattern of life. Anything that brings us beyond our comfort zone presents a calamity.

A lot of these feelings have to do with not making decisions around what we want in our lives. Instead, we float in and out of situations thinking that life should be endured. We take on a survivor mentality, get a job to make money and spend a major part of our lives wishing we weren’t there. We do what we don’t want to do, don’t do what we want. We end up not even knowing what we want or how to spend our lives.

This comes from not making conscious decisions about life and not really knowing who we are of why we are here. The basic questions have not been answered. They were not even asked or if they were, a satisfactory answer was not forthcoming. We drift through life not being aware of our true calling or indeed unaware of what is a calling. So, we end up embracing the blame game.

I worked a long time ago in an office. I realized later the advantage. If I chose to be ill or wanting to be cared for, this was the perfect job. It was the type of place where you could make what you wanted of the opportunities. Whether you worked a full day or not you got paid either way. The main rule was not to arrive for work late. If your name appeared under the dreaded red line, you were hauled over the coals. This was the sin of sins, ‘a mortaler’. But if you sat at your desk all day and didn’t produce, nothing could be done about it. Having said that most people were conscientious and they did a decent day’s work. The pace was as laid-back as you wanted it or as hectic as you chose. I became aware of one thing. The people who did the least complained the most.

Years after I left the office, I met a past colleague. He was still complaining in the same way I remembered him giving out several years before. It was as though he was stuck in a time warp. He took on the form of a limp, lifeless, damp cloth draped over a clothesline on abreezeless day. He was a melting clock in a Salvador Dali painting where time stood still. I wondered how he wasn’t sick of himself or why the sameness of his actions didn’t seem to register with him. He hadn’t moved forward one inch in that space of time. It was clear that this was his whole life, he thought of nothing else. He spent his life complaining.

Sometimes, indeed most times we don’t ask the basic life questions and so, don’t get in touch with our true feelings. We don’t dare to live our dream even forgetting we ever had one. However, we have absolutely no problem living a horrid nightmare. The unthinkable becomes our pursuit. Why do we have no plan for success? Is it that we think we’re not good enough? We assume failure is our lot, our destiny. So, we settle for complaining as if it were a crime to want, to have desire. Bickering and squabbling become a way of life.

Where is the trust in fate? Instead of fate, we’re honed into faith. Faith is the word that reared us. This was what you had for breakfast, dinner, tea and supper when you thought you had nothing else. When we don’t acknowledge who we are we pin our hopes on this lost cause we call faith. Thus, life becomes orientated around limitation. I realize now that to have a faith is no advantage because it means leaving that very important element for living behind, knowing. But nobody tells you that at the time, you have to work all that out for yourself. They don’t tell you because they don’t know. It’s not a cover-up they genuinely don’t get it because they’re wrapped up in faith.

Having faith inevitably means having no trust in God. We may say we love God. Even, we may say we adore God. But that doesn’t mean we trust in God. That’s a whole other step in a different direction. Trusting to fate and thus God is not even considered an option where there’s faith. Think about this, because it’s very important. How could we trust God when the God that’s presented to us is a fearful God? If you fear somebody you don’t know what their going to do next and so, you are constantly on the lookout and that’s not trusting. In that case we manifest in fear from the instigator,doubt and that becomes the guideline for engaging life.

With faith, life positions around limitation. If it’s not our intention to expand, we won’t. Instead we’ll find a comfortable spot and then complain when anything around us changes. This comes with a certain mentality, a survivor mentality. It doesn’t look for change but plods along expecting that any change can only be for the worst. Pessimism is the hallmark of the survivor. Optimism is for the impractical. You can expect calamity when bad luck casts a constant shadow on your front door. Any sign of hope is quickly dashed by the conviction that good luck can’t be found here and if it could, well then it surely wouldn’t last. There’s no more to it. That’s your lot, like it or lump it.

Of course you don’t have to accept this way. There’s always a choice and I’ll be discussing these choices in future blogs.