Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I learned a long time ago to be the "good boy." Good boys aren't lazy, greedy, pushy, selfish. They work hard and follow the rules. They don't weave in and out of traffic on their way to God knows where in such a hurry that they leave a string of brake lights flashing as drivers react to the cuts, lane changes, and aggressive space grabbing.
As the good boy, following the rules of the road, I see that jerk and go nuts. I want to throttle the little peckerwood. Occasionally I even chase the little f-er and get on his bumper, just to let him (usually, but not always "he") know that I know he's a prick.
Yes, I can hear the snickers out there. I am just as bad as he is.
But there is a bit more going on here.
I am he. Or, more precisely, he reminds me of the part of me that I have pushed away, disowned, denied. He is the part of me I don't want to own, but that is still there, just off the list of preferred identifying characteristics.
And the more I insist that he is not me, the worse he gets. That is the more he rises to the surface of my behaviors. I get angry, lazy, mean, greedy, selfish -- the whole kit and kaboodle of flaws I want nothing to do with. They come out sideways, passive-aggressively.
The honest part of me is better off admitting that.
I don't have to act on those things, but I do need to see that they are part of me.
Doing so can free up the energy I use keeping all those defects of character down there in the basement of the psyche.
Free it up. Feel the bump in energy I say.
You are the jerk, the tailgater, the road rager, the outcast, in part. Or rather, you are capable of those things. Welcome to the human race.
Now, I don't need to start dancing around like Donald Trump. He is a man run by the shadow, an unformed, Darth Vader of a man. Beneath his grotesque mask and imposing stature is a broken and wounded soul, not unlike Charles Foster Kane, the "big man" who just wanted his beloved Rosebud as his dying wish.
If I can make peace with my inner asshole, I might escape the fate of living like the outer one. Knock on wood; cross my heart; hope to live.