On expectation and slavery

Pause and listen.

If I neglect to pause and listen to the voices in my mind, they drive me asunder. I am not conscious of them and so they conquer my experience whirling me up and down, side to side, inducing a nausea from the constant movement. So this month, I fast to stop and listen. It requires energy to speak, so I am more quiet. In my silence, I observe my thoughts, my feelings, my incessant inner dialogue that is reacting to all that is happening around me. I take a moment, to pause and observe, to be still and reflect. And the picture of my mind appears with a renewed clarity…

The scene opens with Expectation. He sets the groundwork and tells me if I can make this happen then I will have comfort, I will have security. I will be free to love, to give generously of my time and energy, I will be insulated from the fear of uncertainty and the despair of alienation. I watch Expectation’s reasoning, I hear his commands and demands. The list is endless. Be this, do that. I can never match up to Expectation’s standard. Always falling short, he reprimands and chastises me so I will work harder, be more diligent, more persevering. And as I run around to meet his endless demands I realize that I have been shadowed by an erstwhile companion, Anxiety.

I try to avoid him because Anxiety gnaws at my mind, he rubs against me abrasively and I become more restless, irritable and impatient. The worst part is that he never comes alone. He always invites his friends, Guilt and Rancor. They gang up against me and tell me I do not deserve to do well, I will never achieve my goals, and I should not dream or aspire. They laugh and make fun of me and I feel sad and despairing so I reach out to an old mate, Addiction. This old mate is a welcome relief. Addiction is a soothing comforting companion. She soothes my mind, feeds my body, and helps me hide from Guilt and Anxiety’s burdensome goading for a moment, and I fall into the trap of feeling helpless without her. I try to control my dependence on her but she controls me. I justify my reliance, rationalize it and in the end, I always submit. I am powerless under her control, and she leads me to Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy says she will save me from my helplessness if I follow her rules. She tells me to act like I own the world, that I know better than everyone else, that I am entitled to favors and indulgences. Her shackles are Arrogance and Pride. Defeated, I am her slave.

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