Good Person/Bad Person - ego/motives/the real me/you

Everyone likes to think of themselves as a "good person" but we are all just humans capable of good and bad deeds.  The way we do things, make decisions, how we feel and so forth is due in large part to how we categorize our environment and ourselves.  It plays big in how we deal altogether.  It's important therefore to be as aware as one can of how one characterizes people, things, events like one's situation, one's story, how one got to be where one is and how the others in one's life from one's spouse to the leader of our country and everyone in between got to be where they are and who they are.  If you are aware that you are putting someone in a box it takes away some of the box's strength if you get my drift.  You are then also aware that folks are roundish not square and don't really fit neatly into boxes no matter how much we'd like them to.  It sure would make our lives easier if we could accurately define ourselves, events and those around us so that we could foretell just what is going to happen and how we should respond.  Alas it simply is not that simple.  Yet in order to make any decision at all we do have to use our critical tools - our brain - to do these characterizations and make these categories no matter how messy.

If one characterizes oneself as a "good person" one is more likely to behave in ways that most folks consider appropriate and well-meaning.  If one characterizes oneself as a lunatic then lunatic behavior follows and if one characterizes oneself as street smart or book smart or nice or bitchy or ....and the list goes on.  We tend to have well developed stories about who we are that we rehearse to ourselves almost non-stop.  This story-telling has been called by many spiritual folks "monkey-mind" - the constant chatter, the endless story of who did what when and our part in it along with all the rationalizations that tend to go with it.  We do this so that we can make decisions about what we are going to do in the event of this, that or the other.  These mini-rehearsals are important for us to do and if one was taught how to do it well it comes in most handy in situations where we are put on the spot, like a job interview, a lecture, making a business proposal ... the dress rehearsal is key in determining our success.

But in matters of the heart this can get us all turned around.  If we mis-characterize another's motives or fail to get the facts straight, even so much as missing a key piece of information can throw an entire scenario out of kilter and we can rehearse for a situation that just isn't the way we think it is.  And what about the gazillion times where something unexpected happens.  Often when we go based on our gut we do a good bit better than if we had thought long and hard about it.  We didn't have time to work ourselves up so that we are not seething or we didn't have fantasies of love or of any human kind of interaction beforehand so that our reaction is purely genuine.  But what of those times where something unexpected happens and you mess up?  You get on the defensive unnecessarily for misunderstanding or feeling put upon or otherwise under the gun?  What about when we react violently because we are scared?  Does that then change who one is at a basic level?  Are you no longer the "good person" you characterized yourself as all this time?

I had a situation arise where I felt like the biggest fool in front of a person who I felt was quite bright and who I wanted to see me as an equal.  She was very intelligent, kind for the most part, funny, just an all-around great kinda gal who I admired and who accused me of being unkind.  Being kind is my thing.  It is how I characterize myself or had previous to that as being more than anything else so that it was shocking to me to hear from this person that she thought that I wasn't and what's more was demanding recourse for my actions which I had been unaware were unkind.  I am still not sure that her assessment is accurate but she felt it was and it really doesn't matter now.  I told her to F -Off!  LOL  I think I said it twice too.  Naturally she wanted nothing to do with me after that.  But here's the thing, aside from characterizing myself as kind I also characterized myself as crazy!  So that I had seen and most of my friends and family see me as unpredictable and often emotionally explosive.

And now you say but you are crazy Cynthia!  LOL  Okay but if all these years I had seen myself as level-headed do you suppose that I would be??  I am suggesting that we create ourselves and our reality.  We are neither good nor bad nor level-headed nor crazy but we do characterize ourselves as such and then tend to fall into behavior that fits our preconceived mold.  Now of course this is a feedback loop and it DOES work both ways.  Surely I have both reason to call myself kind and to call myself crazy but what if I start calling myself strong and a bitch and street-wise (something that I definitely do not see myself as).  Will that automatically make it so?  Will it make it more so if I believe it?  Will repeating this to myself daily and in a convincing way cause it to be so?  Many experts believe that this does indeed work.  That's why they say look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful or that you love yourself.  It is not a silly exercise at all.  Belief can be brought upon through repetition and doing it well, with gusto.

Know thyself, thy story, thy motives, thy reason de etra, etc etc and know that we all but only the very most enlightened of us do this constant chattering - if you say you don't and never did just know that you do so so much that you aren't aware of what it is like to be without the constant chatter for even a moment and purely don't know the difference and this is a problem.  Try really listening for that voice in your head or try listening for silence and see if you can spot it as this is really important if you are in search of peace of mind or yourself or both.  You cannot find where you begin until you find where this chattering-monkey ends and obviously you need to be able to spot it in order to find out where it stops and you begin.  Hint - the one listening to the chatter is YOU, the one doing the talking is your ego and is a bit of an illusion - a very real one LOL.  It is necessary to form an ego in this world still but it is also wise to recognize it and learn to quiet it.  This can be tough or easy and your ideas about how so actually tend to determine which one of these is in actuality the case for you.  So try thinking it'll be easy if you can.  And good luck with it!  :)