III. 4. The Undesired Liberty of a Happy Divorcee


Since we know and feel every day how heavily our survival depends on the environment, we try to turn it into a friendly place. Establishing harmony with the environment is the life goal of every one of us; it is our super-objective. Yet our constant efforts to improve it are not the result of a rational, purely utilitarian mindset. The need to influence the environment is embedded deeply in our nature, and finds its strength from the instinct for self-projection.

That is why we create an idea for an environment which will require and welcome our development. Justified or not, this is the biggest and most powerful stimulus which drives us in our conquest. No matter what the sulkiest croaker says about himself, hope is the feeling everyone wakes up in the morning with, even if it is founded in some distant, obscure, or even non-existent reality. We always try our best to relate the reality of our dreams to the current world. We look for outer circumstances which are in harmony with ourselves, and arrange them carefully at the top of the hierarchy of circumstances, which constitute our perception of the surroundings we live in.

On the other hand the environment often serves us with impediments. From a very early age we have the notion that no matter how strongly we wish our environment to be perfect, we must constantly stay aware of the circumstances standing in our way. Inevitably, these circumstances also become part of our perception of the environment, put there by our self-preservation drive. They constantly compete with the favorable circumstances around us, and their place in our outer hierarchy depends on how surmountable we measure them.

This makes our perception of the environment a repetition of our self-perception, which is constituted by circumstances of both self-projection and self-preservation nature (chapter II.2.). Our perception of the environment is similarly built by two dynamically interacting strings of circumstances, which we view as respectively auspicious and malicious.

Usually it is in our power to choose which one of these two hierarchies to “feed” with additional outer facts. In other words, since everything around us is relative, it is mostly up to us to decide whether the glass is half full or half empty. However, if too many facts coming from the outer world are negative, they can create a significant imbalance in our perception of the environment. In this case their effect upon us is multiplied in a mathematical progression, i.e. they influence us more strongly than their simple summing up suggests. This phenomenon could be called the swarming effect. A swarm is always stronger than the mathematical total of the power of each of its members. In some other cases it takes just one powerful negative fact to achieve similar damage on us. Its destructive efficiency is concealed in the effect of contamination: the strongly malevolent circumstance charges other outer facts with extraordinary negativity, multiplying its devastating impact on our inner stability.

The swarming effect, as well as the effect of contamination are also valid in case of accretion of positive outer circumstances. Often several auspicious occurrences in a row, or an oversized positive experience can overpower the troubling facts surrounding us, and weaken their ability to become influential circumstances.

Five years into her life as a divorcee Cindy is feeling worse than ever. Long gone is the relief of getting rid of her abusive husband, as well as the excitement of starting her life anew. At forty-seven her chances of being discovered by the man of her dreams – whoever that might be – seem more distant than ever. Her daughter’s presence in her life, which she has always considered a blessing, doesn’t help. The kid is already a teenager, with a schedule becoming more and more active with every coming month, which further deprives her mom of the little privacy and free time she has had since the divorce.

But does Cindy need any free time at all? Except for two old girlfriends she doesn’t have anyone in particular to share her time with. Her online dating strains hardly lead to anything, and the all-men’s parties at her house accumulate a bunch of regulars who are either married or aren’t worthy of her female attention. The tension from her private life starts flowing into her job relationships. For the last two months three customers of the travel agency where she works have complained about her attitude. Recently she also catches herself commenting disapprovingly on her daughter’s first boyfriend whom she initially claimed to like; this stirs a logical tension into the mother-daughter relationship.

These days Cindy feels like she is living in a world full of hostility. She is already afraid to make any effort outside of her limited daily routine knowing it could easily lead to a new failure – big or small.

Unfortunately she is right. Her established pattern of interpreting the surrounding facts makes her interaction with them sore and inefficient. Cindy’s case is a typical example of how a certain powerful fact which one perceives as negative – the absence of a partner – can contaminate with negativity other unrelated facts and throw the person in the whirlpool of low self-esteem and desperation. At this point of her life only a powerful new fact from the environment can prevent Cindy from continuing her spiral down towards more and more unhappy encounters. It could be the sudden appearance of her prince – whoever that might be – on one of her boring all-men’s soirées, or a big win at the lottery, or a spiritual experience on her long trip organized by her travel agency to promote a new destination. Whatever that fact is, if it is strong enough it will cause the same contamination effect that brought her here in the first place. The only difference is, it will take the reverse direction. This could turn things around to such an extent that Cindy might suddenly become charming again, kind and caring for her customers, loving the time spent with her old girlfriends and even liking the boy her daughter is in love with.

Our inner balance depends on the proportion of auspicious and malicious outer circumstances, which has a direct impact on our self-perception. On its turn our self-perception chooses among the outer facts the ones on which to load positive or negative meaning, and turn into auspicious or respectively malicious circumstances. Our inner stability resembles the atom, whose energy “independence” occurs when the number of positively charged particles, the protons (the benevolent outer circumstances) matches exactly the number of the negatively charged ones, the electrons (the malevolent outer circumstances). If one of these two groups dominates, we become ions – electrically charged atoms; like them we start being selective in our bonding, losing the freedom to move and stay independent of our moods or biases.

© 2009 Peter Budevski

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