Have you ever felt like you were simple going through the motions? You say the right thing, what people want to hear you say. You wear what you are expected to wear, your smile is sunny but doesn’t quite reach your eyes if anyone cared to stop and take a closer look.
The hello, the how are you, bursts of conversation without any depth. You start to reply but as you are talking you realize no one is listening. They didn’t really want to know how you are. They are caught up in their own thoughts, worries and fears.
They too are rushing head long through their days without a clear path of where they are going. Bobbing along like a cork in a stream. Trying not to get tossed around too much. But unlike the cork which is blissfully unaware of its tumultuous ride, you are using all you’ve got to keep your head above water.
Movements can be surreal. Like watching from a distance as your life unfolds. You can see what is happening but feel powerless to change. Your suggestions remain unheard, your prompting unheeded. Your invisibility radiates outward encompassing more and more until those automated motions are the only way to cope.
Note to self:
Must break out of Auto Pilot!
Scarily true! I like your note to self, also a true saying! The cork that bobs and twirls on choppy water is safe from anguish, concern and even anger. Not so, you and I, for we must not only go through the motions on equally choppy waters but we must contain our distresses in favour of going through the motions. So much worse when we realize that no one really wants to hear what we do say. Superficiality leaves us cut off from others. An unpleasant feeling!
Sometimes, for fun, I rebel: When I am asked how I am and I tell the truth then I watch how long it takes for the other person to realize I have not said my rote answer of “Fine.” It can be illuminating. And once in awhile, when I know I have not been heard, I’ll say, “Excuse me, you asked me how I am and I told you but perhaps you didn’t hear me….”
Well said!! And I agree with the idea that superficiality leaves us feeling cut off, and sometimes worse, if it goes on for too long. We do need to challenge it sometimes, I think – it might get us in trouble with others, but the alternative is to be in trouble with ourselves. Tough choice!
Thanks, Page for your reply! So good to hear from others – especially women who so often feel the need to hide away their true feelings. I really liked what you said about “the alternative is to be in trouble with ourselves.” Exactly!
I love that you are courageous enough to tell people how you are really feeling rather than giving a rote answer; then insisting on acknowledgement! It makes me smile to think of doing the same 🙂
Sad that we are so quick to hear the “fine” and move on to something else, isn’t it?
Very sad, Mary. I’m glad that you smile when you think of doing the same. Now, consider every so often to take the same stand. I find it can be empowering to insist on acknowledgment for, as Page said, “the alternative is to be in trouble with ourselves.” Besides, superficiality breeds insensitivity and shows a lack of compassion, don’t you think?