When my British Beloved and I first started dating, he introduced me to this delightful and quite descriptive phrase: “That guy is so up his own ass!”
Up his own ass.
I love it. Didn’t totally understand it then but now I think I do. Up your own ass means you have an exceptionally high opinion of yourself. It means your ego is perhaps a bit out of check. It means you might be a touch blind to what is going on around you because, well, your head is in a deep, dark place.
We all go there sometimes. The trick is not to dwell there indefinitely. The trick is to realize that residing in that special sanctum (I said sanctum, not rectum) is stupid because it’s dark and you can’t see what’s going on around you. How the hell can you see anything when your head is up your own ass? As opposed to, say, attached to your neck where it belongs.
The sad fact though, is that far too many folk end up dwelling up their own asses for far too long. This is not to say they become full-fledged ego maniacs. I just mean that instead of a quick trip to “me-and-only-me” land, they choose (for whatever reason) to sign a long-term lease, pack up the furniture and move it and all their other baggage into their own ass indefinitely.
I know this because I did this. Many years ago when my heart got ripped out of my chest, stomped on and then splattered against numerous random walls, I too left the land of the living and moved into my own ass. There I languished in turmoil and pain, suffering, suffering and suffering more because there was only room in my ass for me and my pain. Nobody else fit. So day after day, week after week, my pain and I inhabited my ass. In hindsight (pardon the pun) I think I must have felt safe in my ass. Safe from more pain, yes, but also safe from the anxiety-ridden torture of actually living my miserable and heartbroken life outside of my ass. My derriere provided exactly enough living space for me to NOT have to worry or even think about anyone else.
Here’s the problem. And I apologize but there is no delicate way to say this. When you live inside your ass the only thing you see is shit.
In order to fully experience the wonders of life, the magnificence of this planet, the glories of music and art and literature and Netflix, the warmth of friendship, the devotion of family, the affection of dogs and the taste of a freshly baked apple pie you have to get out of your ass and get on with living. No matter how daunting that task might seem.
So what’s the answer? How do you do it? What concrete steps can you take to get back into the light?
Start doing things for other people.
That’s right. Get out of your ass, stop thinking only about you and your problems and start doing things for other people.
Once those wounds started healing, those deeply carved heart-wounds, I made it my mission to seek out and facilitate moments of wonder. Those aforementioned wonders of life. I sought out my busy, overworked single-mother friends and invited them and their offspring for dinner so that they could have a night off from cooking without the price of a restaurant meal. I did this weekly. Sometimes more. because is twas also very good for me. I hosted jams in my home monthly so that my music-minded pals could make music with abandon and not worry about cleaning up the next day. I volunteered at my son’s school so that I could infuse some creative spirit into his learning and also enjoy yearly the absolute wonders of Wonderland (sitting with seven backpacks while my charges rode the roller coaster for the third time). I paid attention to my pals in pain and made sure they had a safe haven (my bar) to vent their sorrows and heal their hearts. I visited my mother weekly. I walked my dog daily. I started a little music group with two other women only because they were SO wanting to make professional music and I was able to make that happen. I just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny until one day I woke up and realized my life was pretty good. It wasn’t what I expected but it was fulfilling. It was uplifting. It was on a positive trajectory.
I was no longer living inside my own ass.
We all will experience pain in this life. We will all get slammed and slaughtered and hurt or neglected and abused and misused. And yes, we will all on occasion take time to vacation in our own asses so that we can heal.
Let’s just not get too comfortable in that posterior palace. Let’s make a concerted effort to restore, rejuvenate and move forward. In the light. Let’s remember that the world is full of distressed damsels (and dudes). In the grand scheme of The Universe (if it has such a thing) we are just tiny mites of dust. At least we will be soon enough. So let’s just try to big-picture the hell out of this life and put our pain to good work. It comes back tenfold, this I know.
Remember, in the immortal words of this blogger, when you live inside your ass all you see is shit.
So please … just leave that … behind.