Knowing your place

Understanding where you fit into the strategy of the lives of your significant others will save you a lot of disappointment and even pain. More than this, understanding where you reside in the totem pole of their priorities is essential if you hope to maintain your sanity. If you are not aware of these two simple points, you’ll assume that the value system by which you embrace them is the value system by which they’ll embrace you. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

When every ideal of yours is shattered by those in whom you tirelessly invest the moments of your life, you’re left contemplating who you are and what you stand for in the face of an abhorrent rejection. To claim grace and dignity in that moment when the audacity of ingratitude bears down on you without shame, becomes the battle that will determine whether you lose yourself to rage or do you hold on to the remnants of the self-respect that allowed you to invest tirelessly to begin with.

Creating spaces for a life filled with love always seems like an amazing way to spend your life, until those spaces are neglected by the loves with whom you hoped to share it. The hand that gives is greater than the hand that receives because the hand that receives rarely understands what it takes to be able to give of that which you sacrifice much to earn a little. Receiving bears the threat of entitlement, while giving, the threat of arrogance. Lose sight of yourself in either, and you’ll become one with the ingrates who trade with entitlement and arrogance.

Of course, this means that you must have first claimed yourself to begin with. Most have not. Most are defined by what they want to be seen as. They want to be seen as glorious, but offer only vainglorious ethics. They want to be seen as generous, but they trade with ingratitude. They want to change the world, but truly, they only mean to claim more from it for themselves. And if you grow up believing that you must take what you need in life, you’ll have no reason to consider the hands that toiled to create what you have available to take. Hence the ingratitude with which you are bound to operate.

But giving while trusting that you will have what you need when you need it requires a trust that is scarce. When we realise that the values by which we live is not the values by which we are received, that trust in humanity, or even in our circle of endearment becomes a hot coal that we juggle in our hands, burning ourselves out while not having the heart to discard it because we know what it’s like to be discarded by those who don’t have it. For anyone looking on without appreciation for why that hot coal must not be abandoned, we appear as nothing more than a dancing madman persisting in self-harm while everyone else is self-preserving.

Perhaps that is the place of the insane, whom, by the standards of the society around them, remain the only hope to retain some humanness where there now appears only a desert of isolation. In that desert we reach out to each other with tentacles of materialism while yearning for a warmly touch from living flesh, but incapable of receiving it with gentleness when it is offered, because we feel entitled to its offering because of our assumed place on the totem pole.

When you step away from the system that depletes your dignity, you need a resolve that holds you steady as you navigate the darkness that remains in the spaces outside of that system. A cryptic life leads to a cryptic mind of cryptic thoughts that deepens the isolation of spirit, and increases the takers who reach out with those tentacles demanding a piece of your soul while reciprocating with a shallow smile and a goodly sentiment. But no warm embrace.

Know your place.

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