What rules do you follow?
Recently I was approached with this question:
Who do you think you are?
My response: “Huh?”
Then I got this in return:
“How dare you carry the audacity to flaunt your intelligence by acting dumb?”
My response, “Huh!”
But before I gave him a chance to repeat the question, I apologized. I agreed that I had been cornered and then I asked for some time to gather my thoughts on the matter. The person who asked me the question is smarter than me. I look up to him, I revere him. I admire the good things about him and I am inspired by how he “tames” and deals with the “bad” things about himself. I look forward to his value to my life. I have learned to trust him. It took a very, very long time but yes, I trust him. I said all of this so that you may know how IMPORTANT he is to me and so you appreciate what I am about to say as much as I know that he will.
I like to color in “the lines”. I like the neatness. I admire abstract, contemporary art but my equilibrium is well affixed to the balance of a certain order. I like the disciplines and sciences of the human body. I adore the “natural” elements of what life is. I respect the stature of “freedom” but I am no respecter of its posture for the sake of being non-conforming to an idea of sorts. I am impulsive but yet with caution because I measure preservation heavier than a “get it all now” attitude. I have a disdain for authority that subdues by might and force without attempts at compromise and negotiation. I have a problem with ego maniacs that seem to be hellbent on indoctrinating their philosophy unto the easily influenced mind of “followers”. I am a very sexual being but I have withdrawn from sexual intercourse and relationship because I appreciate my body, mind, and spirit more than I do that of “what everyone else is doing” or “what they say I should/could be doing”. I love people. I love the colorful variety that “people” are BUT I have chosen to separate myself from “people” because I realized that although I am not easily influenced, I am quite easily distracted. I get “caught up” in “people watching” just as others succumb to “people pleasing”. I am far too independent on social matters and conversely way too social in regards to matters of my heart. I have an idea in my head of how things are supposed to be and I am hard pressed to exit mental activity towards resolution of that “thing” and the result is, or what many perceive the result is, lack of effort towards the “success” or “greatness” that I so often speak of. I could go on with my “quirks” or characteristics but for the sake of this just being a resource to help myself and others TODAY, I will stop there.
But what do these things have to do with “following rules”? Why am I telling these specific things in light of how & where this journey started? What’s the point?
Well, here it is, those things about me are “my rules”.
One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.
A regulation, law, guideline.
(transitive) To regulate, be in charge of, make decisions for, reign over.
(slang, intransitive) To excel.
Unspoken rule- An assumed rule of human behavior that is not voiced or written down.
I have struggled for years with the fact that I so overtly seem to cross the lines that are “supposed” to represent “all things right and good” for my life. I have found myself randomly, inconsistently breaking the rules AND LAW for the sake of protecting what is endangered to me. I have disobeyed order and disregarded suggestion that may very well have given me what I NEEDED because it wasn’t what I WANTED! I’ve “played possum” towards effective action merely because it was routine and readily made available through excuse and experience. I’ve found myself down more times than not over simple things, things that ought not have such control over any state of my being yet have seemingly perfected the science of breaking me down.
And then I realized why I hadn’t been able to follow the “rules”. It was because the things that I attributed to being “me”, those things that I felt either defined or explained or acknowledged my “uniqueness” and were necessary for me to have worth, had actually become the guidelines and instructions by which I managed my presence in this life. My little “quirks” had become the measuring stick and standard to which I operated, good or bad. I had ignored the “reality” of the situation for the mentality of my comfort. So even things that seemed conducive to my “getting out” of particular messes became albatrosses for the fact that they were “contrary to popular belief”. The popular belief was my thinking, IN MY HEAD!
It was difficult to comprehend going only 35 miles per hour towards my destination because I had somewhere I had to be by a certain time and 35 mph would not cut it. So I would break that law. The real problem is not that limit nor the place I had to be but the thinking and habit that I formed in my mind, through whatever means, to put me in a position of getting ready “just in time” or “at the last minute” or “when I feel like it”.
But if/when I got caught, I’m pissed at the authority for “not having anything else better to do but bother me” and then not being sensitive to MY situation!
What are YOUR rules? How do you feel about things, FOR REAL? Know that these ideas shape the world that you operate in and that may be COMPLETELY different than the world that WE have to share. Are you willing to admit to YOURSELF that you may have some “unnecessary” rules in YOUR HEAD that are providing you with the obstacles that you must overcome in order to “move on”, “move past”, or “move forward”? Are you READY to accept that “your rules” would be fine if the only inhabitant on earth was YOU but since you’ve got company, well…
So I went back to the friend who asked me that question and I told him that he was right. Even the things that he didn’t say but I heard from looking into his eyes. I admitted that I was wrong on some things and that I’m willing to learn how to do better so that I may DO BETTER. He told me that not only did he believe in me, BUT HE BELIEVES ME! That means everything! That’s how I know that everything is going to work out, because he believes me.
You know what I did next, I walked away from the mirror, and started writing this.
©2012 Cornelious M. Flowers III