Take nothing at face value. See through the sur-face. See through the ripples. Rest with the truth of this moment. No matter the content it’s the context of your engagements that manifests in your experience. No matter their content it’s the context of your comments that determines the interpersonal trajectories involving you.
See through the bitchiness of women, see through the antagonism of colleagues, see through the heavy moods of loved ones, see through their trans-generational, trauma-induced compulsions to hurt and feel hurt, see through the ingratiating comments of your fans, see through your adverse and elated reactions—feel them, embrace them, fully, rest in them, struggle with ease—nothing’s a big deal.
As the ego is crumbling away a sense of solitude escalates. The illusion turns even more vivid and poor little me feels totally isolated, unappreciated, misunderstood, abandoned, misjudged, lonely and separate.
—If they only saw what I can see. If they only had the wherewithal to look within like I do. Etc.
Melancholy is a great way to bypass the truth (of the moment): Feels so good to wallow in self-pity and to feel the me being dissed, pissed, frustrated, misunderstood, abandoned, disturbed, annoyed, perturbed, inconvenienced and other ways victimized by fortuitous circumstances—jilted by girls, misjudged by other egos, bothered by noisy neighbours and enervating nocturnal emissions, etc.—it keeps everything deeply personal. It keeps the world revolve around me.
Without struggling and constant frustration nothing else remains but this moment, constantly, that turns on a dime, instantly—no guarantees, no hope, no prospects, nothing, really.
Things go awry (emotionally) when I take them personally—which is natural, this is what an I is supposed to be doing anyway. The I is geared towards experiencing frustration since that’s what sustains (the sense of) it. Once the recognition arises, though, that the person who takes things personally doesn’t exist and the world this person enacts and the struggle that it experiences in this world is only as real as an optical illusion is real then there will be less and less inclination to avoid the truth of the moment. Once the recognition arises that I can either rest in the truth or I can be driven by frustration: there is less and less inclination to do the latter.
I have a rule: If you wish to be seen, show your truest colors—the other stuff: that sticky, clingy, gooey, needy, personal, phony, affected, demanding, ambivalent, avoidant, shadow-play way of relating, no thanks, please. But then, this is a rule I myself am struggling to live up to. For all intents and purposes.
Your reluctance to reciprocate on the level of the personal (i.e. playing the game of phony rapport and antagonism) will piss off many people. And if you choose ease and opt for joy instead of taking on the duty of responsible struggle you will elicit the ire of many too.