The Inside Face Lift
- Friday, June 23, 2006
Been there. Done that. And it’s not that great. Neither is the glitz and glam. At the end of the day, when it’s time to turn in for the night, and you’re alone with your empty thoughts tucked in not-so-neatly between your Egyptian cotton sheets, you hate to admit it but — you’ve been slow to learn that everything you hold dear is wearing out. The sheets you’re laying on, your waistline, your interior decorating choices, your cars, and especially those $500 dollar shoes you just bought. They went defunct shortly after the third time you wore them and saw them on someone else taller and thinner than you.
The Game of Life
It’s a mighty tough pill to swallow — the realization that there’s always more and there’s never enough; that the bulk of your life is just a game you play — a game that determines whether you’re winning or losing by comparing your status and acquired lifestyle with everyone else’s acquired lifestyle — and finding that you always come up short. Someone always has something bigger and better than you and someone else is always thinner than or more together than you.
Every time you think you can sit back and enjoy your cultural nirvana and cash in on your winning status, some culture geek has launched the latest and greatest “something else” that you absolutely must have in order to stay ahead in the winning game. Exhausted from surfing the last big wave of cultural enlightenment and social obligations, you hunker down and prepare to launch yet another whirlwind campaign of acquiring and recycling. Before you know it, 6 months have flown by and things are wearing out again, including your nerves.
And don’t even start about the guilt you’ve buried for all the family time you’ve missed. Or the broken hearts who stumble along with you that you’ve blatantly ignored — including your own. Maybe if you just bury the pain or stressful situation deeper this time and numb the feelings again — go watch Desperate Housewives or something — maybe it will pass. Sure. Detach. Watch a movie. Get a facial. Shop. Do something — anything. Just don’t think about the responsibility of dealing with anything too emotionally difficult right now. And if you avoid it long enough, maybe it will go away.
And maybe the people will too… go away that is.
Why This Life Strategy Doesn’t Work
The culturally conformed nature of the person I just described is forced to live in a shallow existence because, whether they realize it or not, they have confined their time, energy, and resources by subjecting themselves to a system thickly padded with consumer-centric values. With so much attention given to servicing and maintaining their outer culture — their inner sanctum has been severely neglected and cannot stand alone in the face of change, crisis, or loss. The inner character of such a person is weak because it is not conditioned to endure hardship. It is only conditioned to avoid it.
Sooooo…Take a Break!
Howya doin? Feeling a little cramped after reading that? Getting’ a little edgy and looking for the “turn it off” switch? Breathe deep. Don’t worry. Life is about to get better; you just need to learn how to stay connected to reality and grow from it; to see the priceless value of a life that’s not detached and experience how such a life never wears out, and only gets better, gaining valuable personal equity as time goes on.
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