Friday, August 26, 2011

The ME-ness of MEANNESS

All A Reflection of ME!
The Human Condition is so that we all are born with a propensity towards MEANESS in us. Can’t help it, everyone has meanness in them- everyone! As sure as everyone shits, everyone shits on others… including you. (do you hear how mean you are being right now judging the word choice I just used ). 
Our shame, fears, righteousness comes from the fact we don’t want to acknowledge the me-ness in our meanness. We want to pretend we are all delightful and nice and if we are even the slightest bit mean it is occasionally, and for a good reason, and a milder form of meanness; not like her… she is horrible! I am only a little judgmental of her, which is not nearly as bad as what she did.

But what if we did the opposite and got into the dirt and dirtiness of our meanness and owed it? We are a certain height, weight, with a certain haircut in a particular moment of time why can’t the meanness we are also be a description of who we were at that time. Instead of hiding from our humanity like it’s not there, if we own it we can transform it.

The stories we tell about ourselves and our lives make up who we think we are, so who wants to make it a horror story? Instead we tend to gloss over what we brought to the situation and make someone else to be the bad guy (or natural disaster) vs seeing how we contribute to the narrative. 

People (and things) are what they are, what we say about them is a different story- or to be more precise: our life story. A 16 year old pregnant in the US is shameful, a pregnant 16 year old in another part of the world or at a different time in our history is perfectly acceptable. It’s the judgment we bring to the situation that dictates what’s right and wrong.  Killing a child= evil; taking out Osama Bin Laden= awesome! Taking of a human life is the same in both it’s just the story and circumstances that allow us to make different judgments.

So getting back to our meanness… I know when I fully own that I was being petty, righteous, judgmental in an apology to someone it makes all the difference. Just saying I am sorry or trying to justify anything is just more story and more avoidance of me knowing my nastiness & owning my meanness. And here is the really ironic and funny thing, the more in touch with the nasty side of us the better. Say for example, I am clear that I am only 10% to blame for a fight I had with my sister. I mean I can pile up all the evidence you want to see to show that she was 90% at fault. Can you hear I am being extra judgmental of her, and super-duper righteous? Which is going to clear the space for a real authentic relationship: my justifications or ... my ownership of my own part of the issue minus the condescending calculations of my portion of blame?

Your own nasty defensiveness might be asking: but what about what they did? Their meanness is on their side of the equation and for them to figure out- their nastiness is none of my righteous business. If I am any part of the equation I am 100% responsible for my meanness and mine alone--and this goes for you too.

And although it is hard to comprehend the power on the other side- and it is extremely uncomfortable to do until you feel the pop of freedom- I promise you, owning your meanness is truly the way to live a joyful meaningful life. 

[inspired by: Vickie Austin & Kathy Bosco]