“Some people dance, some people play in the band…The music loves us all!”
So I am very clearly and very obviously undergoing a rapid personal evolution right now. As I suspect many people reading this are as well. The last time we spoke, I shared a phrase. A phrase I learned from my Grandfather. The opening of this piece of writing begins “Some people dance, some people play in the band…The music loves us all!” This rewritten statement is the conclusion of the journey that we went on together. Thank you for coming with me on that last journey. Today we embark on a new leg. Starting from where we left off. Like a canoe trip, or a mountain expedition, or any great story. Sometimes there are stages.
Christmas is a time that is becoming more joyous for me. Many years ago, I allowed my fathers illness to rob me of my holiday spirit. I gave my power away to the circumstances I found myself in. As we are just coming through the holiday season, my focus is beginning to return to me once again. I find Christmas is often a season where clarity, logic and creativity end up in my back seat. Or at least, the back pocket. I feel less inclined to share in the festivities. Even though deep inside I have a longing. Like a child looking
through a plate glass window. In an old black and white film. I long to be part of the festivities, yet inside it feels hollow and empty. As the seasons roll by and my father settles deeper and deeper into his grave, the emptiness eases. I am excited because for Christmas 2021. I know we just celebrated. But that was so 2020. It was a pandemic Christmas. A pandemic Christmas for all. Next Christmas is going to be merry indeed. I am committing today to fully celebrating Christmas this year. 2021 is the year my Inner Grinch joins in the holiday fun. Time has passed and it is time for a new season to begin.
This holiday I retreated as usual. Into my solitude. My retreat was shorter and briefer than normal. I noticed something interesting. Dissatisfaction arose. Deep dissatisfaction around my relationships, my self, my business, all aspects of my life. Dissatisfaction arose. At first, I thought it was something specific or someone specific. Then I got curious. Because the dissatisfaction was everywhere. In every corner of my life, I was affected. So I started to ponder, what is actually going on. My attention was being drawn to something, but what exactly could it be? I had to find out what it was. So I followed the thread. I followed the thread into a realm that I have spent a lot of time focused on. This realm is my ability to find and focus on the negative aspects of life. It is a skill that I have honed to a razors edge. (I say this with a mischievous grin on my face). Yet there is a ring of truth. Now where were the seeds of my discontent sown?
Of course the answer to these questions runs back to childhood. There is a sense in my family of being unworthy. Unequal to the people that we are surrounded by. It is deeply ingrained, and hence my grandfathers saying. Which you can read in Part 1 here. Today is not about that story, today is about the progression. What came out of yesterday’s journey. My quote. My saying. The rewriting and reinvigoration of family history. Powerful stuff. And so what, exactly, came out of this years Christmas funk.
What is with that mischievous grin? I am so glad you asked, and I now I feel obliged to share with you. The idea that some people dance and some play in the band has a point of origin.
The point of origin is simple. I don’t belong and I have nothing of value to add. Therefore, I am going to play in the band. Other people have ideas, other people have value, but our people are just those peoples servants. This is a mindset. A way of being in the world. And I fully embraced this mindset. Even while I fought like a wildcat against it. (Before going further, it’s worth noting that this mindset is not unique to any one group or class of people.) So what lies at the roots of such an idea? Allow me to explore that further. You are welcome to come along for the ride. We all have needs an desires. That is just a fact. The needs and desires have, at the root of it all, a feeling. A core desired feeling. Tapping into those feelings is a powerful way to alter our current reality, circumstances and surroundings. What is even more powerful is tapping into the underlying desire for love. Beneath the seemingly endless process of trying to get our needs met. Deeper than the feelings that we keep chasing. Lies our desire to be loved. Often as really tiny, little people, baby humans, if you will is an unmet need for love. It’s hard to understand, for really little people. That love is not always going to be supplied by our parents. At least not 24/7 on demand. When we want it, how we want it. That does not mean that our parents stop loving us. However, as tiny, baby, human, people… That is often how our pre-infantile brains interpret reality. If that happens, we grow up with an infantile understanding of love. I know I did. And so I grew up with the belief that love is limited. Love is conditional. So I placed conditions on love. My ability to give love, and my ability to receive love. I sought endlessly to prove my value in order to meet the need to be loved.
This of course is a trap of the most dire nature. Love is not limited, or conditional. Just because our parents were not able to attend our every need, does not mean they ceased to love us. A parents love knows no bounds. Even if the expression is flowed. It is in this seemingly simple statement that our understanding of love can begin to evolve. Maybe even mature. Once the understanding that our parents never stopped loving us sinks in, we can begin to question the underlying assumptions around love. The unconscious, underlying assumptions. What I have come to understand through through process is this. Sometimes people are assholes. Or, as a friend of mine often says, an asshat. Asshats and assholes it all amounts to the same hill of beans. The behaviour that leads us to judge others has a point of origin. That desire is to fill the perceived gap of love. Behaviour that would have me labeled an asshat originates in my desire to prove my value. This can lead me to be mean, condescending, rude, antagonistic, untrusting, untrustworthy, and just a big giant dick in general. These behaviours have many points of origin. The desire to feel safe, free, worthy, respected, understood and acknowledged. To name a few. The pursuit of these needs, and others like them has a root. By now, I am sure you know the cause. But it bears repeating. That is the desire to be loved.
An exponential shift in thinking, doing and being is possible. Especially when this moves from something that we know to something that we practice. It’s even more radical when the understanding begins to integrate. One day, we wake up and realize, it is simply who we are. We have shifted from the doing level to the level of simply being. Being love in the world.
So, what does this look like in practice? What is the game changer? It’s to simply assume that underneath every action and every intention there is one desire. The desire to be loved. When I remember this, it helps me to pause. To pause on both ends. When someone’s actions offend me, and the judgey part of my brain turns on. I am remembering, this person. Who is pissing me off right now. Just wants to be loved. The behaviour that is causing me discomfort is rooted in the desire to be loved. Both their behaviour, and my feeling of being threatened by the behaviour stem from that source. The belief that love is conditional. And limited. Opening myself up to love existing as unlimited and free of conditions softens the edges I have around people. Connecting to my own desire to be loved begins to free me of those edges. Beginning to see the desire for love at the root of all human behaviour begins to set me free. This is the path that I am traveling, and I am inviting you along for the ride. Some people dance, some people play in the band, the music loves us all.