Dr. Seuss was a very wise and extraordinary man. One of my favourite books is Wacky Wednesday – A baffled youngster awakens one morning to find everything’s out of place, but no one seems to notice!. As a child it described how I felt almost every day.
Adults don’t make sense to children because they are illogical. If a child loves ice cream they will eat it at every opportunity. If an adult loves ice cream they will often deny themselves the pleasure of eating it for a variety of reasons they feel make sense, sometimes they will even deny others the pleasure of eating it because they don’t want to watch someone else enjoying something they are not allowing themselves to enjoy. Adults do this with everything.
We want to fall in love, but we stop ourselves because we are afraid of being hurt, making a fool of ourselves, loving and not being loved in return, and a million other reasons which all make sense to us in a very convoluted way. Children don’t do that, they love unconditionally, naturally, fearlessly. When they get hurt they express their pain, then move on. When adults get hurt, they often hide their pain, suppress it, and wallow in it, reliving the hurt over and over again, never quite being able to move on, trust again, closing themselves off from the very thing they crave.
We will often pick a rotten apple over a fresh one, bite into it and force ourselves to swallow the rotting flesh of the fruit, worms and all, because we feel we deserve to suffer. We do not think we are worthy enough to eat the sweet, crisp, delicious goodness of the fresh apple. Why.
Somewhere along our path from child to adult, the clear, common sense we had gets warped. We learn to stop trusting our instincts and impulses, our intuition gets ignored, and we begin to reason, doubt and question ourselves, think things through before acting, sometimes over-thinking to the point where we stop ourselves from acting at all. We can’t move, we are petrified by imaginary fears which are very vivid and very real to us. Most of all, our sense of who we are gets so twisted that we no longer know ourselves, and we just stitch together an image based on the projections and opinions of others.
I know someone who pushes away all the people in their life who are a positive influence in favour of those who are negative. They know that they do this, and they hate the fact that they do, but it is a compulsion excused by thousands of illogical reasons. They want to be loved, but not by the people who love them. They want to be admired, not for the talents they have, but for those they pretend to have. They want to be consumed by passion, but they also want to feel nothing because they don’t know how to handle the feelings they already have. This person loves to suffer, they don’t, but they do, the pain of being alone, unloved, rejected, and ugly, thrills them, the drama they have created for themselves is so dark and tragic that they are completely addicted to it. They actively seek out people who will treat them badly, indifferently, like a piece of furniture to be replaced as soon as it is no longer useful, a toy which is fun when new but boring when old, and they subconsciously encourage people to treat them this way. They are in the thrall of darkness. It represents power to them, ultimate control, which is what they desire most desperately. Deep down they feel very frightened, vulnerable, and powerless, adrift on the sea of a meaningless existence. They want to dominate, be a wizard who can obliterate enemies with a gaze, a dragon who can blast trespassers with furious flames turning them to dust, an evil genius who is always one step ahead, manipulating others to do their bidding. Rather than face their inner demons, they would prefer to serve them, and summon up worse demons to vanquish their foes.
It’s all very complex, complicated, and unfathomable. Such is adult life. We like to create problems where they don’t exist, and ignore the problems that do exist until they snowball into a huge unstoppable monster which eventually crushes us. That which we don’t have obsesses us. What we do have is never good enough somehow, even when it is all we ever wanted. We want the Moon, but when we get it, we don’t want it anymore, we want the Sun instead. If someone else comes along and takes the Moon away from us, suddenly we want it again, or we don’t want it, but we don’t want anyone else to have it. We want to be understood, but if someone actually shows us that they have understood us, we shun them, reject them, because they know us too well, and that scares us because maybe they understand us better than we understand ourselves, and that gives them too much power over us.
Life is actually very simple. Children know that, they revel in it. So why do we forget all the wisdom we are naturally gifted with when we are born as we get older. There are as many answers to that as there are people in the world. Life may be simple, but humans are not.
It all began with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall shouldn’t be there at all.” – Dr. Seuss, Wacky Wednesday.
Today has indeed been a wacky day for me. I met up with the person I mentioned. I hadn’t seen them for a long time, we chatted about the continuing drama of their life, then they left, and I had a distinct sense that I would probably never see them again. It was weird because I didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing, if there was something I should do about it, or if doing nothing was the best thing to do. Truth is they always leave me feeling a bit shit about myself, like I’ve disappointed them somehow, but they never tell me what it is exactly that they expect from me, maybe that is because they themselves don’t know what it is they want or are looking for. Maybe they will figure it out one day, maybe not. Perhaps if they could talk to the child they once were, that child would explain their life to them in a simple, logical, and clear way, then hand them a delicious fresh apple, and say ‘Eat it, you deserve the best!’
*Image is from Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. I sourced it from Creekside Learning‘s post – Celebrating Dr. Seuss with Wacky Wednesday, and recommend checking the page out as the ideas are indeed wacky and incredibly fun.