Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reflections of Sensitivity

During my run today, something I ate was repeating on me (that's how my Grandma Blanche used to phrase it.. 'I don't care for green peppers, they repeat on me'.. I had no idea what she was talking about at the time..) So I was wondering how I was tasting chocolate covered cherries, as I hadn't eaten any such thing that morning.. I had a delicious fresh mango and a piece of toast with marmite.. Food scientists take note.. I've discoverd the long kept secret to re-creating chocolate covered cherries! Just mix a little mango and marmite.. I then started thinking about beng vulnerable running out on the roads alone.. Not a scary kind of dangerous vulnerability, but more of an open target to bullies kind of thing.. The wind was strong, and it was more comfortable to gaze at the ground.. I was imagining the drivers passing me thinking I looked like a weirdo, and that I wasn't confident because I was looking down. I guess that's normal, as you really are vulnerable as a single runner against 2,000 lb moving vehicles. But my feelings I'm sure are not shared by every runner who takes a solo run. My anxiety (though slight, as I've done 1,000's of solo runs over the years with little negative consequence) stems from my unique insecurities that I developed as a child. Showing vulnerability was ridiculed in my upbringing. As though my family were raising a slew of soldiers in preparation for a great war. Talking with others about their sensitivities is always surprising, because our issues are so different.. It's comforting to hear that I have total confidence in the areas that they may struggle with, and vice versa. Comforting because if our issues are simply products of poor upbringing, and not concrete realities of today, we should be able to easily rid ourselves of them. That's the really amazing part. I can spill some coffee on the floor, be stressed because I now have a dirty floor, and then easily solve the problem by cleaning it up in 2 seconds. These childhood issues seem to come back no matter how many times you clean them up. One day my life is great and comfortable and I'm loved and beautiful. The next day, I'm hideous and nobody likes me and I'm stuck belching chocolate covered cherries.. But I'm really happy to find out that this is kind of how it is for all of us. I think. I really don't believe we are meant to be comfortable all the time anyway, when there is so much suffering all around us. A certain balance of both states of mind is important to be able to give compassion for others when they are struggling. I don't mean to intentionally seek out hardships. That's not even necessary, as they will naturally find you on your course of existence. I just mean to maybe recognize that struggle is an important part of the journey.