Flies in the Mind

It’s difficult to concentrate on writing a post when every time you sit down to do so a fly starts buzzing around you, playing satellite of a human head, occasional stopping to rest on your exposed skin, on your keyboard or computer screen, so you swat at it, but it laughs at you and escapes. So you have to get up, chase it and squish it. I know, bad karma. My conscience has written off all bug squashing as reincarnation therapy for insects, with flies as my main patients. I’ve tried being zen about them, but they just won’t stop pestering me. I don’t know what they think they’re doing, but I think it’s extremely annoying. Every time I kill a fly, and return to focus on writing, another fly appears as though out of a Pez dispenser.

I was getting very frustrated by this just now. I am having a hard time focusing as it is, my mind has so many thoughts buzzing around in it… Ah.

There’s a link between flies and thoughts. Not all thoughts are flies, just the ones which distract from the main thought which is being focused upon. Yet there is as much value in the distracting thoughts as there is in the thought from which they distract. Sometimes the distracting thoughts have messages which relate to the main one.

What I was trying to focus upon before today’s fly parade started, was a thought which popped into my mind as I woke up. It was connected to the dream I was having just before I awoke.

I was in a junk shop, and I couldn’t see anything I wanted to buy, so I decided to leave, but was stopped by the manager of the shop who said ‘This is for charity, you have to buy something!’. I did another tour of the shop trying to find something to buy, anything just so I could get out of there. I saw a bracelet made for Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard. It had an inscription on it… which I can’t recall, I’m hoping that it wasn’t of vital importance. The bracelet was a very over the top creation, and I didn’t like it personally although I could see that it could be considered beautiful. There was nothing else I wanted, nothing to which I felt a personal attraction, although, like the bracelet, everything had merit and was appealing, just not to me. I tried to convince myself to buy the bracelet just so I could leave. But I refused to do so. Why should I buy something if I don’t want it? Because it was for charity and thus I had to do it even if I didn’t want to?

I began to get very cross. With myself for making the situation more complicated than it had to be, and with the rules of society. I was being forced into doing something I did not want to do because it was for charity, and if I didn’t do it I would be considered selfish and made to feel ashamed of myself. If I didn’t want to willingly donate to charity by buying a piece of junk for the sake of the charity’s cause (no idea what that was), then I would be manipulated with shame and peer pressure into doing so just to assuage my guilt and my fear of being criticised, harassed, ostracised for not being an acceptable and pliant member of society. As I was battling between doing what was expected of me, either to appease others, or for myself, to cater to my need to escape the room, versus sticking to my personal truth, standing my ground, and not doing what I felt was wrong for me… I woke up.

My waking brain was immediately flooded with a series of thoughts and images connected to the meaning of the dream and the main thought it inspired.

One was a video clip from last night’s episode of Big Brother. It was of the self-proclaimed straight talking, telling it like it is, not holding anything back housemate expressing hurt and upset over the fact that a certain housemate had not been diplomatic, as in telling an acceptable white lie, when expressing their opinion of her. She felt that this other housemate should have coated their opinion heavily in saccharin rather than telling her exactly what they thought of her. She feels that it is her right to speak her mind as bluntly as she pleases, but she does not like it when others do the same thing. It is a typical double-standard moan.

One was an amalgamation of frustrations, a thorn ball inside of me, connected to trying to tidy up the mess my father left when he died. The whole thing is doing my head in. One person in particular at the moment is causing unnecessary drama. They are a gold-plated card carrying member of the Double-Standard Society. They keep ranting at me, pointing the finger of blame and prodding me with it, because I haven’t tidied up the mess, yet they are the ones obstructing me from being able to tidy it up. They have information which I need, which they offered to give me, but every time I ask them for it, they withhold it, holding it hostage to try and force me to deal with the situation the way they want me to. Their way would actually cause more mess, which is why I have chosen to do things another more logical way. But I can’t explain any of this to them because their conversations are a one way street, words flow out of their mouth, nothing flows into their ears… unless it is what they want to hear. If it is not what they want to hear they have a tantrum so that their screaming blocks out the sound of other people’s voices. I am punishing myself with doubts, self-flagellating. I know my way is right, but if I just did things their way I would be able to escape this situation sooner rather than later… but that is an illusion, I know that once I give in to their demands I’ll be trapped in this mess forever because they will see that as a cue to up their endless game-playing.

Then there was the image of the crow I saw being attacked by a raven. There were other birds, magpies, jackdaws, etc. involved in the fight, but I couldn’t tell if they were helping the crow fight off the raven or helping the raven attack the crow. It happened very quickly. I thought the raven had killed the crow, but it was only playing at being dead and when it realised that the danger had passed, it picked itself up, took a moment to gather itself together, and flew off.

And there were other bits and pieces, all buzzing in my head like a swarm of little flies, seemingly distracting, yet all related to the thought upon which I was trying to focus. They did’t want to distract me at all, they wanted to be incorporated into the main thought. They each have an element of value to bring to it to make it whole (It is interesting to note that as soon as I made the link between pestering flies and distracting thoughts, the fly siege let up so I could focus on writing this piece).

The main thought is about authenticity. How much of a struggle it can be sometimes to be genuine, to be our true self, because sometimes our authenticity is hidden in a blur of possible version of ourselves, of who we could be and become. It is especially hard when you feel that others reject your true self. That society needs you to be a certain way to please it. Buy the bracelet and give to charity, then you can leave. Coat your opinions of me with fake sugar and then I’ll feel better about myself and like you for it. Do what I want you to do and I won’t abuse you, unless I want to and you have to put up with it because [insert justification here]. Be one of us, or be killed or play dead and we’ll leave you alone.

My whole life I have felt as though I was always on the wrong side of the Me versus Others equation. When I went with others, I hurt myself. When I stuck by myself others hurt me for it. I’ve never been able to get the formula right. Perhaps this time, everything at the moment is pointing to a resolution of some sort, either by picking a side once and for all, or finding the sweet spot that would suit one and all.