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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:32 PM
Original message
First Person Narrative
I have an appetite for talking about myself. In this matter Ive found it necessary to employ some harm reduction. I have a rich history of applying the principles of harm reduction to all of the deep natural appetites that compel me -- for sex, for fat and blood, for language, for adrenaline, for dopamine, for sweat and sugar -- the mitigation of all these requires, first, awareness, raising my consciousness, just noticing.

I take note. I want to talk about myself and every revelation I have while vacuuming the living room rug. I know this can be super annoying. I know it can get to the point where its just toxic. I have to watch it. Moderate. Stop and listen.

I try to keep the balance. I try to remember to ask myself, Am I really hungry or am I avoiding something? Is this making me numb? Did I miss something? But I can always count on myself to leave space for indulgence. Harm reduction is an art.

I know what people say about people who talk about themselves too much. First, they are self-centered, clearly. They are attention seekers. They are probably trying to cover up some pain. They may even be sociopathic. Especially, when you are trying to explain something that happened to you that hurt you or otherwise moved you deeply and the other person says, Yeah, thats just like something that happened to me you just want to say, Were you even listening? Everythings not all about you.

But I wonder.

Its true; there are people who dont listen and people who think that they are more important than other people. There are people who just want their attention fix, and your capacity to listen is nothing more than a cigarette or a frozen Reeces peanut butter cup to them. They are assholes, but its not actually because they talk about themselves too much. Its because they arent good at it.

The conventional wisdom is that if its characteristic for me to talk about myself, Im self-centered and not seeing past my own needs and concerns. But what if my propensity to talk about myself is informed by a fundamental understanding that actually, there is no difference between you and me? We each have an ego. We are each contained in our own bag of skin like spheres of water falling side by side from a high cloud. Like them, we hold our distinct forms for some time and appear to be individuals. But all the water is one. The drops of rain collect in one pool, they mingle as vapor and rise, and they condense again into bodies all with pieces of each other inside them.

If I am true when I tell you my story, it must in some way be your story too.

We are living in a new age of first person narrative. There are 15 million individuals tweeting, I had Moroccan stew for dinner. Ive been coming here for years, dropping little paragraphs into the pond.

I know, I talk about myself a lot. I hope that at least sometimes Im good at it, and you find yourself here, engaged in some way that has meaning for you as I often feel meaninglfully connected when you tell me the revelation you had today while vacuuming your living room rug.

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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Everyone is self-centered.
It's just the nature of how we perceive the world.

If you're conscious, present and aware you can shift your perception. It's not terribly easy, and a lot of people can't or won't do it.

Around here we call them Conservatives.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. :)
In my little meditation, I called them assholes, so I think we're on the same page.
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