My son has discovered fire. I need to put all the lighters and matches away. I keep walking into rooms to find candles burning. Fortunately, that's been all so far.
I've been noticing again my new-found solid center. Life is more enjoyable. It's not that I don't care that not everything and not everyone is just where I think I'd like them, it's that I'm operating from a place I was only vaguely aware of before.
I had a work event today. I didn't feel that familiar feeling of unease upon walking into a room full of strangers. I find it takes less time to get a sense of the room and start interacting than it did. I don't think I behave any differently. My motives haven't changed. My personality hasn't changed. But something about me affects things differently. I've always been able to chat fairly easily. But it's become easier. It's not an effort. Things just seem to work out more and more often. (Not all the time, alas.)
I think it's because I feel more secure within. I'm not unconsciously checking in with people to see if they're "OK" with me. I'm just doing what I'm doing, and they're doing what they're doing. That works great in a business environment, but in my personal like, I still have a ways to go. I still get reactive and make things about me. It's almost never about me. Not all about me anyway.
It's just that I've conditioned myself to expect things to be a certain way. Then those expectations become the "right" way. When in reality, they're just preferences, some not even of my own making, to a certain extent. If I look at it that way, it's easier to examine situations and exchanges in a less biased light.
I've always dealt in shades of gray. But now I'm starting to see the layers in the shades. When I'm checking to see if people are "OK" with me and I'm "OK" with them, I tend to get into fear more. Because what if they're not? Then it's hard to look critically at what's going on.
Fear is the information blocker. I'm looking at a lot of fear with now, but mostly from a distance. I'm realizing how much it affects everything we do. Now that I'm more secure within myself, the fear doesn't rise up and threaten me with abandonment, ridicule, etc. (Fears I wasn't even aware of before.)
I'm looking forward to seeing this with more clarity eventually. But it's good to finally spot it from a "safe" vantage point. And at least know it's lurking around.