Thursday, March 30, 2006

i am reflection, i am reaction

i'm in a place right now where my self-introspection is at an all-time high. i know this is because of the things i'm going through at the moment. i just ask you to bear with me as i attempt to make sense of things.

this post is inspired by t. casanova's post confessing to his various vices. in it, he admits to being spiteful. now while normally i would have called that shit out for what it was (namely, he was being an asshole and that shit ain't cool), i stepped back from that statement and instead chose to look at it from another angle.

spite: n. malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate.

we have all done something out of spite towards someone else. however, is this behavior a reflection of our character as a whole or is it just one aspect of us? is this behavior in response to something someone else did to us or is it totally unprovoked?

reflection of a whole

the way we word things when it comes to describing ourselves is a revealing indicator of just how we see ourselves (and others for that matter) at that moment. have you ever made little statements to yourself when you were feeling down? on days when i'm feeling down on myself i say shit like

"i am spiteful."

"i am fat."

"i am insensitive."

"i am mean."

because at that moment, i feel as though that adjective represents me totally, defines me completely. at that time, there are no other adjectives superceding that one. when i look in the mirror, i see that word carved into my forehead. i see it written in lipstick across my chest.

when i'm feeling good about myself, the wording changes. it's not even just about me saying shit like

"i am beautiful."

"i am smart."

"i am loving."

it's also in how i re-word the other shit. i'm no longer selfish. i'm a person who can be selfish at times. i relegate the shitty stuff to part-time status and give the great stuff full-time status. i can acknowledge that while at times i can be selfish, overall i'm still a good person. i believe that because my actions in this world reflect that.

reaction showing a partial reflection

a couple of years ago while i was on vacation, one of my co-workers tried to have me fired. when i got back from vacation, i was pulled into my supervisor's office and grilled about some missing office supplies. of course i was innocent, but the incident left a permanent breach in my relationship with my boss and created tension and mistrust around the office. in response to what she did to me, i went into her office, hack onto her computer, printed off incriminating email and deleted many of her important files. because she had no back up of her shit, she was fucked up for MONTHS. and no, at the time i wasn't sorry i did that shit.

but as i look back on what i did, one thing is very clear...i allowed her shitty behavior to dictate mine in such a way as to reflect her character, not my own. that doesn't make what i did any less malicious or straight up wrong. however, i recognize i gave her the power to make me respond in such a manner. i acknowledge that ultimately, i made the decision to fuck her shit up, even if i was provoked. i also acknowledge how she played me like a fucking puppet because i did that shit in reaction to what she did. i acknowledge i was hurt by her actions and that hurt made it easy for me do that shit i did cuz i felt as though i had been personally attacked.

but does that make me a malicious person? does that make me a spiteful person? HELL nah. i think the difference here is that i was reacting after being provoked by her behavior against me. i wasn't trying to deliberately hurt her for no reason. her actions hurt me and therefore, i felt the need to hurt her. i committed a malicious act. it doesn't make me malicious. if i accept that term to define me, then i'm saying i'm mostly malicious and that anything i do from this point on that hurts someone is justified, cuz hey...i'm malicious.

so no, i am not malicious. however, the incident showed me i was an immature person incapable of stopping someone else's shitty behavior (and their own issues of insecurity) from provoking me towards stooping down to their level.

'i am' is the beginning of the statement we give to define ourselves to one's self and others. whatever adjective we place after that becomes interwoven within us, it is what sweats from our pores, what leaks from our mouths, what determines our actions. it is the word we use to justify our behavior, both good and bad. it implies we will actively seek to be an accurate reflection of the definition of that word because it is the word we believe ourselves to be.

so now when i describe myself to others, i think about whether or not i want the adjectives i use to be a reflection of the whole me or just part of me. i think about how i see myself, really see myself, and what my actions say about me.

i am beautiful

i am intelligent

i am sexy

i am compassionate

and yes,

i am capable of malicious behavior when provoked, but that ain't who i am.