Don’t Look Back… okay, maybe just a little peek

kurt vonnegut

At the moment I should be furious. The sort of justified fury which could lead to righteous blindness or spontaneous combustion. I could be furious…

But.

This sort of fury is pointless and has a tendency to lead to stupid mistakes.

Mind you.

The reason for the opportunity to be furious is due to a mistake. The jury is still out regarding the IQ of the mistake.

 

 

mistakes

 

This particular mistake isn’t one which I made.

Which in and of itself is unusual.

Add to that the fact that I had foreseen this mistake and made attempts to avoid it, to pre-empt it. I repeatedly warned those who were supposedly listening, but in mythological Cassandra style my predictions and warnings were disregarded. Not because I was cursed by a pissed off god whose advances I had spurned, but because others thought they knew better and in their knowing-betterness they decided that I did not know what I was talking about. I had hoped that their view was correct and that mine was not.

But.

We all had to learn the hard way that I was spouting wisdom out of my mouth instead of inanity…

…but they don’t have to pay the price for their hard lesson, I do.

That’s why my fury is in theory justified.

However.

If I indulge in fury and its consequences, I’ll end up with very skewed thinking and I’ll probably make the situation worse. It will lead to me making a mistake, maybe several… and the Furies will be unleashed. Not on others but upon me.

I’m far better at reasoning, understanding and excusing the mistakes which others make than I am at handling my own mistakes. I make an excellent lawyer for others, but when it comes to representing myself I usually just sign the confession and throw myself in jail.

I am more lenient these days with myself. I let myself off with a warning – learn from the mistake and try not to make the same one again. Make a different one instead.

 

 

 

Edison

 

Easier said and agreed to than done.

And.

The problem with learning from your own mistakes is that you get quite good at spotting potential mistake-making scenarios. You use the data gathered from analysing the components of your previous mistakes and thus when you spot similar components in the present you can predict where things may be going. A warning light goes on. Which is fine if it’s just you that needs this information, but when others are involved this warning needs to be communicated to them too.

Therein lies the rub for me.

How do you get other people to listen to you when they are so busy listening to all the voices inside their head which drown out your voice.

The method I use most often is repetition. If I say it once, it’ll probably not reach their ears. If I say it twice, it may get inside the ear canal, but will it penetrate into the brain. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it bounces of the eardrum making a dull boing sound. They heard your voice but not what you said. I usually repeat things three times. This way they may actually hear what you said, but there is no guarantee that it has been understood and sunk in. After that I stop because then it becomes nagging and no one listens to that. If they do they tend to rebel against it, or react defensively. Which is not productive.

 

Susanna Kaysen

 

If I look back I could get furious and indulge my feelings of – I told you so. That particular temptation is spurred even more when those who didn’t listen inform you that they had actually heard you but chose to ignore you… yet it’s not their fault somehow.

However If I’m going to do that, look back in anger, then I have to go further back for the sake of thoroughness. Yes, I predicted this mistake and yes, I tried to prevent it… but I also knew that prevention of the predicted mistake relied on others, on teamwork, and I knew that these particular others saw themselves as being superior to me in knowledge and experience (this is tricky because – I was working with them because of their expertise). So they were never going to listen to me when their own voices dismissed what I said in favour of themselves. So basically what I really predicted was that one predicted mistake would happen because another predicted mistake would happen… and sometimes you just have to let the snowball roll.

It’s my fault for being optimistic. The solution is to continue being optimistic. Pessimism at this stage of things is… too late.

What I’m hoping for (false hope perhaps) is that they will learn from this mistake and that what they learn will be positive – as in it will give them the motivation to sort out the consequences of the mistakes, because now their ego is involved on this (my) side – rather than negative – they’ll be so focused on covering their asses, sweeping their errors under the rug so they don’t have to face them, their ego still involved on the other side (against me), that the consequences of the mistakes will simply pile up… but it doesn’t matter because they don’t have to pay for it, I do.

If they do the latter, I’ll understand. Every human, underneath all the layers, is motivated by a primal instinct for self-preservation. I am too. I’m just crossing my fingers that they’ll save my ass while saving theirs, rather than sacrifice mine to save theirs. Survival of the fittest and all… sometimes the fittest get thrown to the lions to save the less fit.

That was a rather arrogant thing to say… my fury leaking out where it can because I don’t want to let it drag me backwards. Not yet anyway.

Maybe I was stupid, maybe I’m being stupid now, maybe I was always stupid and will always be stupid…

 

 

cocteau

 

Once the milk is spilled… don’t let it go to waste.

Or something like that.

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17 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back… okay, maybe just a little peek

  1. I loved this and could relate to it so much. I had an jncident on the weekend, not really like this but I was falsely accused of something really horrible that did NOT occur when I was trying to save my dog from an attack by a bull terrier… anyway, its not the same but there is a similarity in terms realising there was no point arguing with my accuser who would not believe me (was told something by someone who was not even close enough to see what happened… it left me with a horrible stomach ache), the best I could do was detach and move away. In our support group we have this idea that telling someone something more than two times is really an attempt to control and change an outcome over which we are in fact powerless. It doesn’t help with the frustration though but the point you made is not to let your own anger or frustration rebound on you… I have had that happen a lot to the point it resulted in accidents. Its a bit of a mean saying but a friend of mine who was very wise and enlightened and had deep insight used to often remind me of that saying “cast not your pears before swine” and sometimes people have to make their own mistakes through not listening as its the only way they are going to learn something.

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    1. Being accused of something you didn’t do by someone who is set on their accusing course can be very distressing. Once a person has decided that you’re in the wrong and they’re in the right, there is usually no point in arguing because their ears and mind are closed. They have a vested ego interest in your being and staying wrong. Besides if you manage to get through to them you then have to deal with their back-peddling and covering up their error, since people tend to hate admitting to mistakes and prefer to justify, excuse and pass on blame, which isn’t helpful and just makes more of a mess. But sometimes people can be surprising and refreshing πŸ™‚

      I think if someone is making their own mistake and it doesn’t affect you then letting them go ahead is respectful of their boundaries and such, but when the scenario involves you then the formula changes. If their mistake is going to cost you, then you have a say in the matter – if they’re hellbent on making the mistake, then you have to prepare of the consequences it will have for you.

      I don’t think repeating something twice is an attempt at control – unless of course that is the speaker’s motivation. It very much depends upon context and what is being said and why it is being said. The same could be said of someone not listening, that is it an attempt at control. I think it is a case by case assessment. We all lapse in our listening, especially when our minds are noisy or something distracts us, we all mishear, and we all have a tendency to repeat ourselves, most of the time this is just absentmindedness πŸ™‚

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  2. I don’t know if that helped. Just wanted to say I really, really, really understand. It’s an endless topic of frustration in my life. So many people won’t believe you if you don’t go through the trouble of getting other people on your side first, most people aren’t capable of thinking for themselves. I hate that. So even if you’re right, they’ll wait until you get the “clearance” from an authority, if you don’t have enough of authority yourself, which one doesn’t have when one is busy dealing with just about a billion other things that have priority. My feelings anyway. Hope it works out for you. M

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    1. Thank you, thank was helpful πŸ™‚

      It’ll work out one way or another. Sometimes being flexible is the only thing we have. This is part of a legal case involving two narcs… takes a while for other people to realise that maybe I know what I’m dealing with, and maybe it’ll follow different paths from what they’re used to. Very frustrating, needs oodles of patience and stuff like that πŸ˜‰

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  3. “Zarathustra has changed, Zarathustra has become a child, Zarathustra is an awakened one; what do you now want among the sleepers? You lived in your solitude as in the sea, and the sea carried you. Alas, would you now climb ashore? Alas, would you again drag your own body?”

    Zarathustra answered: “I love man.”

    “Why,” asked the saint, “did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it not because I loved man all-too-much? Now I love God; man I love not. Man is for me too imperfect a thing. Love of man would kill me.”

    Zarathustra answered: “Did I speak of love? I bring men a gift.”

    “Give them nothing!” said the saint. “Rather, take part of their load and help them to bear itβ€”that will be best for them, if only it does you good! And if you want to give them something, give no more than alms, and let them beg for that!”

    “No,” answered Zarathustra. “I give no alms. For that I am not poor enough.”

    The saint laughed at Zarathustra and spoke thus:

    “Then see to it that they accept your treasures. They are suspicious of hermits and do not believe that we come with gifts. Our steps sound too lonely through the streets. And what if at night, in their beds, they hear a man walk by long before the sun has risenβ€”they probably ask themselves, Where is the thief going?

    “Do not go to man. Stay in the forest! Go rather even to the animals! Why do you not want to be as I amβ€”a bear among bears, a bird among birds?”

    “And what is the saint doing in the forest?” asked Zarathustra.

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  4. You’re my hero. Your being furious proves how much you are in touch with your feelings and reality. You’re angry because your know better. Some brilliant scientist whose interview I once read said: “I don’t like having someone tell me I’m wrong if I have the feeling I’m right (In the sense of: even if I can’t come up with the correct counter argument right then).” xxxxx

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    1. I like that, thank you πŸ™‚

      It’s good to know both what we are thinking and feeling, and where they overlap. It’s all part of the learning curve of being ourselves!

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I try to focus on the situation in front of me rather than what could have been if mistakes hadn’t been made and stuff like that. Be here now… because that’s the only place we can actually work with. I’m not really comfortable with this ‘hope’ thing but it seems to work sometimes and sometimes that’s all I have to work with πŸ˜‰ I am practical… sometimes in an impractical way!

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  5. Very deep meditation. I have no idea about what makes you furious, but i do understand how you feel, it happened to me so many times people ignored what i was saying although sometimes i was right. never make the same mistake twice, that’s what I keep telling myself. s xxxx

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    1. I don’t mind so much if someone doesn’t listen to me when I’m just talking about this and that, because what I’m saying is not important and the consequences of not listening are nil. It’s when what I’m saying is important that I get frustrated. And in this particular case I was actually paying to be listened to. Anyway, we’ll see. Things may work out for the best. Sometimes what seems like the worst possible outcome, turns out to be an opportunity. πŸ™‚

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      1. SO SORRY that you’re having a bad day. I suspect it has to do with your legal issues. Sounds like you thought & planned it out but things did not follow though the way you hoped they would . I know you know the truth &things are messy now. Try to sleep on it & see if it seems so bad tomorrow.

        If so , just try to regroup your ideas as to what you would like to see realistically happen. You are bright & intuitive so I know you will come up with another approach. So they did not hear you today, try again. If you need to be heard on this, back it up & reformulate your plan . Also, you are right that if you find your input wont be accepted for whatever reason, there may end up being a reason why & things could turn out better than you anticipate. One thing is for sure- YOU ARE NOT STUPID- YOU ARE INSIGHTFUL, SMART & LOVELY
        Hugs to you!

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        1. Thank you πŸ™‚

          The not listening happened a while ago, and now people are hearing what was needed to be heard when it was first expressed – which isn’t really useful (perhaps it will be but I doubt it). Anyway, I’m focusing on the situation at hand, which would have been different had I been listened to in the first place – hence the fury – but since it isn’t I’m being practical about it. Which may be stupid, we’ll see.

          I keep trusting others… maybe one day it will pay off (being sarcastic and other things, like optimistically hopeful, now) πŸ˜‰

          TY for the encouragement – I wish it was currency!

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          1. Thank YOU!
            It may feel frustrating since no one listened to you originally, and now when the truth is finally coming out, it is finally being acknowledged as the facts emerge.
            Being practical due to the necessity of the situation instead of listening to your intuition & gut feelings & what you know to be the truth can be very unnerving. It does not feel fair but instead it feels extremely unjust.

            Sometimes though, we have to do it. We have to be practical & go with things on that level. It sounds like having faith in the outcome & trying to trust that things will align is a wise thing to do at this point.

            If this type of scenario echos your childhood dynamic – the frustration level of it is greatly amped up, since it touches on those old wounds of the frustration of not being heard by those who really should have listened when you clearly knew the real truth of what was really going on and everyone should have not been so blind to it all.

            I really like your new “We’ll just see how this all pans out” attitude towards this. Excellent perspective. Very cool. Watchful Wisdom.

            You are really cool.
            Hope you’re doing better today
            Best to you.

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            1. Thank you πŸ™‚

              Watching and waiting is sort of my default setting, everything follows a course and sometimes you just have to go with it rather than try to do anything else, especially when other people are involved as they are very set in their patterns and trying to interfere with those patterns usually goes nowhere and may cause extra problems, but you still keep an eye out for opportunities to do something along the flow and maybe change the course a bit.

              We’ll see… – is one of my most used phrases.

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