October 1, 2012: Personal Sabotage
On the surface, sabotage sounds unidirectional and that direction is all bad. However, what if there was an underlying silver lining when we sabotage ourselves?
Let’s start with asking if personal sabotage is necessary. I’m thinking such sabotage doesn’t kick-in unless it’s a facet of required change. Even the word “required” is a bit suspect, as not much may be really required. However, if we are living lives out-of-balance, sabotage may be at least an unconscious attempt to wake up. We all know this on at least the level of getting temporarily sick, as in working or playing so hard that we quit attending to our biological feedback. So, the body’s feedback becomes less than subtle and down we go with some illness or the other that requires us to rest whether we like it or not. Ergo, we sabotage our body and then our body sabotages us and if we’re good at knowing about running into brick walls, we wake up and realize the need to do something differently.
Look, we all know by now that ongoing stress is an indicator of living out-of-balance. And stress is a way our body protests being forced to keep at it when the body really wants a lot less on the daily-living plate. I mean, do we eat when we’re hungry? Hardly. We often skip meals or do comfort-eating. And do we pay attention to what we eat? Hardly. We tend to go for taste and convenience and habit over what actually nourishes our body—and mind. When is the last time you ate and experienced more than just being glad to have that to-do handled? When is the last time you ate and felt lit-up, like what you ate was something that took care of all your concerns? How about sleep—do we sleep enough? Hardly, we push and push. How about exercise? Some folks get so carried away exercising they actually get the body to protest. Other folks do so little the body becomes sluggish.
How about how we emotionally sabotage ourselves? What a set-up! We push folks away when we really want them available and we want them available when we’d really like them to go away. Sure, such machinations are not 24-7, but they’re enough of a pattern to cause great influence. And sure, we may be unconsciously protecting our emotional selves, but we could also be unconsciously putting ourselves in a disingenuous position—one that could be so uncomfortable that we’ve forced our ecology to shift whether we consciously like it or not. And of course, that’s what the result of our sabotage is trying to convey to us.
Do we cognitively sabotage ourselves? Well, whenever we have dumb ideas that we try to pass off as smart ideas, push-back is likely to occur. The choice? Well, we can withdraw, we can get aggressive, or we can gather in like-minded groups so that all the idiots feel smart by sheer size. And having a bunch of weapons can be handy as well. There’s nothing like idiots with weapons—no need to revisit the cognitive collage passing as cohesion if there are guns to force other folks into submission. Another talisman is to pass laws enforcing stupid ideas. Along with weapons, the idiots do not have to worry about feedback noting how out-of-balance they’ve become. The hint that something is out-of-whack? An out-of-whack body (individual or institutional). Being a guard dog is a stressful business, even if we keep up the guard-dog business employment rates. Let’s face it, the martyrdom complex alone is sufficient to run-over the body’s feedback. I guess we can build statues of fallen “guard dogs” to let the other martyrs know how much we care.
Okay, you get the picture. We’ve taken on tasks that are about as helpful as growing another row of toes. Who said we had to do all the stuff we’re doing? What if we made up all that stuff because we don’t know what to do without all the made-up stuff? Don’t get too ruffled here—I’m not suggesting there are no good works, I’m suggesting we don’t do too many of them. In fact, I’m suggesting that even when we do, we get all OCD and run around trying to drag folks across a line others don’t see or don’t care about. All the martyrs in the world won’t propel us towards Paradiso.
Set an example—give all the machinations a rest. Channel all that chase-the-tail energy into breathing and doing good work and resting and laughing until you simply can’t feel bad. After all, whether we are addicted to feeling bad or not, feeling thus is a sign of resentment and resentment is a sign we’re engaged in sabotage and sabotage can be a universal announcement we’re simply wandering an unnecessary trail.