Thursday, April 10, 2008

Soothing the Ojo Loco

What is it that makes us, generally speaking, lose it? Lose our minds? Get the crazy eye, the ojo loco?

Sure there are many factors, like a genetic predisposition to mental illness. Or trauma. But what is "trauma" anyway?

The dictionary gives us two categories of definitions:
1. Pathology. a. a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident.
b. the condition produced by this; traumatism.

2. Psychiatry. a. an experience that produces psychological injury or pain.
b. the psychological injury so caused.

I think there is something else that can make us go nuts, something that is not limited to trauma or genetic predispositions or other factors that contribute to losing our shit, to be blunt. I think change is terrifying--even traumatic--for most of us. And, consequently, we avoid it as much as possible. This means that most change comes about out of necessity, when things are out of our control. And almost always, that change comes at a price: Loss. And for most of us, loss is a trauma. It is a shift in things as we know them and like them to be. It forces us out of a comfort zone.

Usually, the loss is that of a lost relationship, whether that relationship has been severed by death or something else. Depending on how close you are to the person, and how much you depend on upon that person and your relationship to them, you're going to suffer a loss when that relationship is lost, or broken, or even altered. In short, the more attached you are, the more hurt you'll be, and the crazier you're likely to get in the afermath.

So we're faced with a challenge: Never get close to anyone again. Or get close and risk loss.

There is a third option, too: Get close and be less attached. That usually means being less needy in a relationship, relying on yourself more than the other person to make you feel good. Because at the end of the day, no matter how great you feel with another person, that person isn't making you feel great. That greatness is inside you. And as Tobey Maguire's character points out in Pleasantville, you can't stop something that's inside you. In short: Don't be so selfish. You already have what you need to feel good, content, happy, fulfilled.

So this is where my mind is at this morning: me and my inclination to flee when things go bad. Is it the human condition? I don't know. I don't typically flee. I fight until there is nothing left fighting for. But it doesn't mean I'd rather get out of the ring.

Anyway, back to the workday. See what happens to my little brain when I get a simple song stuck in my head? Ai yi about crazy.

Happy Thursday! ;o)

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