I've been thinking a lot about the psychology of relationships lately, especially family dynamics. When I went to SDSU in the early 80's, I took psychology courses as electives and discovered I liked the subject so much I almost changed my major. Course, I didn't, but did it up only a few credits short of a minor in the subject to go with my major in Business. Got all A's too.
One aspect of psychology that I find especially intriguing is one I'm sure we're all aware of. However, for those of you that read this that don't, I'll do my best to explain the way I view this topic. The only way I know how to do it is to apply it to some real-life example.
For instance, one of my family members (though not the only one, she's just the one who seems particularly pre-occupied with it), started pointing out what she viewed as character defects in my inter-personal relationships with her and other people, not long after my release from the Holliday Inn. She said "Gus, all you ever seem to talk about is yourself. You don't care about other people have to say. You don't listen." Notice what I just wrote there. She mentioned the word "you" or a form thereof three times in three short sentences. Have you ever noticed when someone says the word "you" when they begin speaking that it puts a person on the defensive? YOU don't listen. YOU talk all the time. We all know we should talk in the first person, something like "I feel sometimes that what I have to say isn't important." See what I mean?
The other thing and this one is even more important than the first is this. Have you ever noticed that when someone is emphatically pointing out aspects of another person's character or personality that they find annoying, distasteful, or just plain wrong, that REALLY what they are pointing out are aspects they see in THEMSELVES that they subconsciously wish would be different?
Stop and think about that paragraph. Re-read it if you have to in order to see what I'm driving at. I know of many people, and not just within my family, who are the same way. Always pointing out defects in others, blaming, or pointing fingers, when in reality they are the very same things they absolutely despise about themselves, without even realizing it. It's a very interesting phenomenon.
I know for a fact I talk about myself. A LOT. And I'm smart enough, and introspective enough, to realize when I come off this way. I'm not sure I need reminded of that from others. Truthfully though, here's the way I see it.
I'm not actually talking about ME per se, as in "look at me! See? I'm important!" It's more a function of the sum of all the experiences I've had over a lifetime but ESPECIALLY the past two years, how those experiences have ended up being applied in a positive way in my own life, and how I want desperately to share with others what I've learned so that they might be able to make some positive use of those lessons in their own lives. And I've had MANY people outside my immediate family who have practically begged me to speak or write about these experiences; while in incarceration, when I was at the house arrest program for six months in Liberal attending daily meetings with others, writing letters to every chief district judge in the State of Kansas, all the representatives, included the Governor, over 60 letters in all, about the "dysfunction" of the legal system, and then numerous Facebook friends beginning about a year ago when they started talking about the inspiration they received from some of my "notes" and ramblings.
A few of these friends, especially one, has said my "calling" is in writing. Perhaps a book of sorts, or a collection of short stories. Maybe that's where this blog is leading, I'm not sure. But it's becoming clearer every day. And I've felt this way a long time, going back almost a year now. Let me explain what I mean. One night last July or so, I woke at about 2:30 a.m. from a dream. I had been speaking in front of a group somewhere in the future. There were many people there, in some type of auditorium or something similar. I walked into the bathroom, turned on the light, looked into the mirror, and started talking. I don't recall how long it was before I got done but when I did, I looked down and I was shaking, yet this absolutely and incredibly huge source of energy was surging throughout my entire body.
That was the third time I had what is known as an "out-of-body" experience in my lifetime, the first two was in a small church in Norton, KS. in the fall of 2006 during my first stint at Norton Valley Hope, a rehab facility. I'll never forget it. The minister had asked a few of us to come forward if we wanted to feel Christ. I was the only one who, when he placed his hand on my shoulder and began speaking in "tongue" while my eyes were closed, had an experience unlike anything I had ever felt before, at least up until that moment in my own bathroom alone at 2:30 a.m. nearly 3 years later.
Those of you that have come this far in this latest post might be thinking some crazy thoughts about now. All I can say is this. What I felt in the fall of 2006 was REAL, it wasn't contrived, manipulated, or acted out. It HAPPENED. Just like it did later. And this feeling gets stronger by the day. Something big is about to happen again in my life. I FEEL it.
Bottom line is this. This path that is being laid before me; moving here, attending school, the blog and website I created three weeks after arrived, it's all part of something bigger. What, I have no idea. But I KNOW it's coming and I KNOW it's about knowledge and helping others.
But like pastor Bob Speer, my personal pastor at Norton, who once told me and this is my rendition of what he said: "I'm not driving this bus. I'm just a passenger along for the ride. I'll do what I can during the trip to make it worthwhile for myself and others."