I’ve been thinking about that, lately. You know what I mean? The odd little things that we come to believe? The ideas we’ve had, it seems, all our lives about how things should be, how we should be, how others should be? None of which is based on anything but someone else’s opinion or insistence, not logic, not understanding, not even survival.

I think that we all have arbitraries. And I also think that we’ve had them most of our lives, that they have been around so long and are so insidious that we don’t even question them. They just are. Right?

I don’t know why exactly but I’ve started wondering about mine. Like why do I believe that you shouldn’t let people know (not even friends) when you’re down? Why is it a sign of weakness to ask for help, especially if money or anything remotely close to it is involved? Why do I have a certain time limit in my head as to how long I can accept a friend’s hospitality, help or comfort? Why do I secretly believe that despite my many abilities, intelligence and competence, that I am not hirable? That no one wants to give me a job or work? Why do I think that when things gone wrong it’s because I must be bad? Lots of questions – any answers?

Well, I don’t know if I have answers exactly but I do think that I think these things because somewhere along the line, someone instilled these ideas in me. I didn’t notice or maybe I was just too young to realize that these were arbitrary ideas, rather than the truth. Occasionally, I have a vague recollection, a moment frozen in time where I’m watching me being told something bad about myself. Being made to believe it. It’s a little scary actually, memories like those. And often I’ve convinced myself that I was imagining it. Now, I’m thinking, not so much.

Where they came from and from whom they were issued may not be important. Although being aware of them probably is. It’s hard in modern life to just sit down and reflect on anything – everything moves so fast and we are always, consistently behind it seems. Life demands more of us and yet, seems to give less back then it did to our parents and grandparents. Technology, cell phones, instant connections and communications all make it very difficult for us to just step off the out of control merry go round and really consider why we think what we think.

But I’ll tell you something I believe it’s worth the extra effort. I’d be willing to bet that most of you have funny little things you believe about yourselves, that has no basis in fact or truth. But like a favorite pair of shoes, you keep it close to you and trot it out often, probably daily. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all just realized that most of the crappy stuff we think about ourselves is nothing more than arbitrariness whose seeds were sown when we didn’t know any better?

5 thoughts on “Arbitraries

  1. I have just been thinking similar things a couple of days ago !!!!

    Add to it, we are all different personalities and how we interpret things as a child might not be how it was intended. And people who instil things in us have their own ‘stuff’ healthy and unhealthy, and may not knowlingly instill negative things but do.

    I have been going through a transformation of sorts recently, and man, it’s amazing even as an adult, the ideas I have somehow absorbed that are not healthy for me.

    I think, for just as many years as we have held onto something, it can be a long process of letting go.
    .-= WiddleShamrock´s last blog ..Pay It Forward =-.

    Hey Widdle,
    Really? I was honestly afraid no one would know what the heck I was talking about. I agree, transformations are amazing regardless of how old you are. In fact, in many ways they make you feel like a kid again, don’t they? Hope renewed and all of that? I think it can be a long process but I dont’ think it has to be. Sometimes for me, anyway, it’s the mere action of ‘seeing’ it that changes everything.



  2. Oh, this is deep. Do we really get hit harder … or are we just more sensitive to begin with? Simultaneously cursed and blessed.

    As for stepping off the merry-go-round long enough to contemplate how we got the way we are … understanding is one thing; change is quite another. Can we un-ring the bell?
    .-= PiedType´s last blog ..Iranian demonstrators won’t be silenced =-.

    Hey 30,
    I don’t know…maybe because we’re more sensitive we do get harder, because that’s just what happens to sensitive folks?

    I think we can un-ring the bell – haven’t you ever had the experience of realizing something (anything really) and just by virtue of the realization it changes things/you? I don’t think you can force change but I do think that as with anything, once you see the whole picture of something you can definitely change and probably will just as a natural course of action.



  3. hey girl, i don’t why this is…someone asked me to describe myself last week and i started talking about my birkenstock sandals. and they were like not what you like to wear, about you…and i was stumped….i couldn’t think of anything to say about myself…isn’t that weird?
    .-= kim´s last blog ..kickin’ some web page bootay =-.

    Hey Kimmie,
    I don’t know if it’s weird – I think it is hard for us to see ourselves in any objective way. We see ourselves by what we do or wear or say more easily maybe? It’s hard to see our own qualities for some reason, yet we seem to be able to see our faults with glaring clarity. Funny, eh?


  4. Annie, I love your soul searching here. Beautiful that you’re really delving and finding answers for yourself. And so well expressed. You are such a beautiful being. I think you’re rising from the depths and into the light and I can’t wait until suddenly – whoosh! There you are seeing your truth in all its splendor! Love, your spirit sister, Sharie

    Hi Sharie,
    Wow, thanks for all these sweet things you’ve said. I guess, since we all have a soul we should search it from time to time, yes? I must say, it does feel like things are starting to turn in a direction that is more true for me. And you had something to do with that, you know?



  5. Hi Annie,

    I’ve had as similar journey around reevaluating my belief system and man its been so hard and so easy in a way. I remember as a teenager on the bus – A boy said ‘ fat bitch’ he might not have even been meaning me but I took it for me, I had no need to what so ever. Di’s not fat. The words fat bitch tortured me, still does.
    Over these past few years I have had to throw caution to the wind and reassess my recovery programme. I had to as the way I was recovering totally disempowered me.I changed my beliefs ( only slightly ) to be true to myself and now my old recovery network judge me. Bloody great.
    Finding the truth with in yourself is a life long mission and a journey that I have been on for some time. I wonder how come some people miss this journey.
    Yes artists are very sensertive and ‘out there’. Smiling, glad I’m not an artist.
    Love Di

    Hi Di,
    You know that story about ‘fat bitch’ really resonated with me. Not sure the exact same thing happened to me but a similar thing with similar results. And as you said, it might not have even been directed toward you (me). Still we really cling to those bad things that we think others think of us, eh? Weird, that.

    I wonder too why anyone would want to miss the journey. It is tough sometimes but I think well worth the price of admission.



What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.