The judgments circulate and I, hearing them, pay attention. They are other people’s ideas for me. They are confirmations of how I do not fit their expectations and preferences.
The ideas begin with – I am not – and regardless that the word – I – leads the way – they are not my ideas. Once my thoughts began with – I am – but eventually, those disappeared and the – I am not – replaced them.
I am listening to the thought stream of my mind.
Interesting. There it is, an ideal for every second of my life inserted by family and teachers. Close behind, the exams followed confirming my less than good enough and rating comparative negatives in percentages.
I was not special and could not measure up. I was a kid and could not fight them. I was at the bottom of the class.
Proving them correct, I have not climbed to a top rung of the ideal, therefore, I indeed merit their criticism. I sway on the bottom rung of society’s ladder of attainment. Certainly, the bottom rung is relative but if we place the 1% rich at the top, I am the middle bottom. I prefer the company down here because from what I see up there, I am glad that I could not measure up. The game of hell is played at the top.
As I go around cleaning yesterday’s debris, the shoulds increase in volume. Suggestions of nothing done well-enough echo in my skull. The comparative intrusion is a factor of software placed early in my life’s hardware. Exams and schooling fired a deep rut in the flesh of my brain – imprinting the program – it is not enough, you need to do better.
A software installation, which I now call my mind, intended to be a helpmate but as the years went by, evolved rabid. A mind whom late in my childhood took on a sinister voice.
Do it right and stay competitively abreast others if you want to be taken seriously. If you want to be admired. If you want to be cherished. Watch out! A wrong step brings anger, disappointment, and dismissal of your existence.
A monster inside my head taunting my every waking moment.
Today, fortunately, I know it for what it is – fear.
Fear based on the belief that the top is the best place to be and I am not getting there. Oh well. Things happen. I shrug off my failure.
I remind myself to be grateful for my simplicity. I remember how calm it is where I live. I am grateful for the connection with others who join me in understanding that helping each other is the way to go.
We all get more and live better. It is true that not so many will have heaps – but really! The trade-off is a no-brainer.
It is co-operation that has made humanity seven billion strong not competition.