Friday, September 10, 2010

life is hard... let's control it.

Perception is everything. You've heard that here before, and perhaps from several other sources. It is truth, sometimes a very hard-to-swallow truth.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons why I like photography so much. Photography has EVERYTHING to do with perception, and visa-versa. Perhaps I've said that before too.

I'm starting to get ready for my upcoming travels to the East and to the U.P. of Michigan, and starting to plan for travels in the late fall and winter. As I'm in the midst of mentally preparing myself, because its been many months since I've traveled, I've been noticing a little bit of trepidation. I've been very conscious of this, trying to figure out where it's coming from. I love flying, I love meeting new friends, I love going to parts of the country I've never been before, and of course, I love creating art. Clearly, the positives vastly outweigh the negatives. But I'm prone to worry. My first subconscious instinct is to find things that could go wrong - possibly to mentally prepare myself for problems, for failure. Even when every detail of logistics is figured out, there is always room for unexpected changes that are out of my control. And I think that's the real issue. Not being in control.

Control has so many veils of security. "If I am in control of this, or that, I will feel and be safe." It alleviates a sense of helplessness. And helplessness can be scary. The only thing you can ever control is your emotions and reactions to situations, everything else outside of yourself is out of your control. Period. Now, sometimes you can manipulate situations or people to get what you want... and I believe that's what fuels this obsession. Because sometimes it works! And if you're particularly talented at those skills and/or in a position of high authority, they might work a lot. But in the long run, especially if you're pushing for the wrong reasons, they will be detrimental.

I prefer trust. Trust that everything will work out okay. Because it always does. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't believe anyone should just sit back and do nothing to change a situation, especially if it's harmful to you. I'm talking about when you come to a wall that you can neither go around or knock down. The serenity prayer comes in handy here.

I'm in the middle of a particularly hard personal situation with a loved one. I desperately want to control it, to change it, to get the unwanted factor(s) out of their life and my life. And the first few days, hell, the first few weeks were horribly hard. Half the time, I was (both unconsciously and consciously) pulling out all my childish tactics to make it go away. The other half, I was purposely denying the issue / lying to myself, pretending that it wasn't even in existence or that it would go away. Then, when I couldn't lie to myself anymore, and I was tired of being a baby, I got on my pedestal spouting the morals of societal homogonies and ethics of popular opinions and methodologies. Woe is me! You're hurting me! You're making me feel this way with your actions/choices! For a very short time, I even tried to get a third party on the bandwagon (who was already on, but I thought "strength in numbers.") Then... hypocrisy slapped me hard in the face. And the realization that, although this is so very hard, if I learn to accept it I will have a much easier time continuing the very important relationship than if I resist it. So I've been accessing all the resources I can to understand it. And, low and behold, I have much more peace with it. I'm still not happy about it, by any means, but I am coming to terms with it. And all I can do is take a leap of faith, and trust that these unwanted factors will not harm the relationship I have with my loved one.

It's a huge leap of faith, and it is possible that I wont make it to the other side, but I'm proud that I have the courage to jump... instead of cowering in fear, sadness and anger.


Self-portrait. In-camera double exposure.


Mark Haskins said...

Very interesting, very courageous of you to share. Your writing here is a strong witness for how I can continue to re-think what is a “a powerful person.”

Since this is also a photographer/model’s blog, I will also add, I like your double exposer self-portrait image.

Anonymous said...

I am very lucky to be in AA so I learned that Prayer helps me a lot. you may all deadly know or do all this but this is paraphrasing for our AA book
I don't want control. I of what your talking about can be solved by a higher power of your choice in it is deep inside each ourselves that HP or god will be found, in AA we don't tell you who to pray to just pray. Pray is talking to goddess and meditation is listing.

My goal in life now is to serve my HP by helping others and sometimes that means just making people smile, I hope I brought a little smile to you and I am so grateful for your beautiful art, thank you.