by | May 25, 2006

I realized this morning that a subtle but very painful and powerful belief I have is that I am not authentically loving and kind and/or that I do not truly care about serving others. I’m playing with ways to inquire into this as a judgment because I find inquiry into my judgments of others can be more thorough than when I judge myself directly. Here’s one concept I’m looking at:
They are phony
I can’t know for sure.
I cut myself off. I feel a small, hard space inside that is my “come from” with respect to these people. I live as though life is small, hard, and pressured. I resent them for pretending to care more than they do. I don’t trust them. I feel confused and angry because I don’t know who can be trusted. I see pictures of people who are smiling and happy and generous-looking, and I don’t trust them.
I feel like a sad, small child. I am frightened. Who can I trust? How can I know? I hate myself for being suspicious, hardened, defended. I hate feeling small-minded. I am embarrassed and resentful. I resent the successful way these “phony’ people attract love and happiness. (They are happy. IIT? They are not happy. IIT?) I wonder what’s wrong with me. I wish I could be phony, too. I imagine that life is easier for the phony people. I feel competitive, distrusting, and uptight. I am lonely. It is hard to succeed in a world where other people (!) are phony.
Relaxed. Open. Curious.
1. They are not phony. True. Time after time I find that someone I had labeled “phony” is generous, loving, kind, intelligent — in other words, doing their best. (Oh wow. what if what I have been seeing as phony in myself and others is simply an artifact of a human being doing its best? What else is an ego to do?) I also see that what I call phoniness is an authentic expression of what a person cares about, believes in, and thinks is best. It is the most generous, authentic gesture possible in that moment. When I live this turn around there is just woman meeting concepts and being delighted (or, if not, suffering stress and/or questioning the concept). I see me noticing that when I feel distressed about someone being phony, there is always a stressful thought underneath. Some examples I can find from noticing times recently when I’ve believed someone is phony:
– They want to make $$ at all costs.
– People don’t want to spend their money.
– People need to be persuaded to buy.
– Salespeople can’t be trusted.
– It’s wrong to feel excited about making money.
– Selling is in bad taste.
– Love means not charging for your work.
– Love means not benefiting from a transaction.
– They’re trying to trick me.
– They don’t care about their customers.
– This is too good to be true.
– I should do this for free.
2. I am phony. I am phony when I believe that I or anyone else should be different, especially when I have judgments about someone else’s phoniness. I am phony when I pretend that some people can be better than or more authentic than others. I am phony when I expect myself or someone else to be different than we are in that moment. I am especially phony when I believe that I should be more loving, more honest, more evolved than I am. I am phony when I think that “evolved” means something different from what is showing up right now.
3. My thinking is phony. I don’t find a lot of juice here. My thoughts are just my thoughts. Oh! I can find “my beliefs are phony.” In this moment, the very notion of a “belief” seems phony in the sense that believing might mean holding to a thought or concept that is not real or being realized in this moment.
4. I am not phony. Hee hee. I find a lot of simple freedom here. How can I be phony? I can’t even keep track of reality! I can’t imagine being so good at reality that I could know it AND be phony at the same time.
5. My thoughts are not phony. True. They are just thoughts (and not even mine). The impression of phoniness shows up when I do a sort of mental shell game: “now I believe it, now I don’t.” How can anyone fool me unless I agree to play the shell game? How can I fool me unless I am moving the shells?