The Upside of Down (Or, Pulling A Rockefeller On Yourself)

I’ve been approaching Obsessed when it comes to using the energy of situations no matter if it’s “good” or “bad,” positive or negative, for or against what I think…

It’s all mindset–“It is what I make of it… What I’m looking for, I’ll find…”–so I’ve been removing judgment & looking at situations, feelings, & events for what they are. Instead of judging, I want to assess & understand.

Bc what’s my position? Subjective. The only thing I can truly say for-sure is how life looks from where I’m standing.

“Bigots” & “haters” used to make me insane. I was hurt by the stuff they said. I was sad. I was disappointed that they didn’t seem to see what they were causing. It was beyond me how people could be so willfully ignorant and hateful and just… stupid.

And I let that negativity cast a dark shadow over me for a LLLLLLONG time.

The problem was: I only saw their ugliness. And I became similarly ugly, trying to be better than them at being hateful, trying to cut them down… basically, only adding more negativity to the mix.

And then I had to stop.

It was becoming too much for me. Literally, I was as far down–hurt, angry, empty–as a person could be. I had to find redemption. I needed to get back in touch with goodness & positivity & my connection to the world.

I took a look at myself & was like, “Is this really you?”

The answer: No, but I’m scared.

Since hurt people hurt people, I had to ask myself if that answer applied to “those people” as well. Why did I want to hurt them? Bc I was hurt. How’s that for karma, Law of Astraxtion, “you get what you give”?

I had to figure out how to end that cycle using the only thing I can control: myself.

I had to pull a Rockefeller & look at my own yuckiness. And then, I had to ask myself: “So, what are you gonna do about it?”

From Pallas Partners:

John D. Rockefeller introduced techniques that totally reshaped the oil industry, and he did this through asset maximization. In the mid-19th century, the chief demand was for kerosene. In the refining process, many byproducts are created when crude oil is converted to kerosene. What others saw as waste, Rockefeller saw as underused assets.

My pain was an underused asset. My fears were deplorably unmined. I was wallowing in all my negativity, not making any progress.

I had to go beyond my hurt.
I had to learn something from it. Just like with wanting to be hurtful, I had to ask myself what must be causing that in “those people”–the people I wanted to identify with least.

What did their anger represent? What did their words betray about their fears? What could I learn about how Life feels to them?

And from that–those caustic & destructive patterns–I gained a whole new understanding of compassion and empathy.

People are assets, and are full of assets. Like, Russian nesting dolls of humanity.

We can use all the different expressions of humanity to make ourselves better, if we see others in that light & take the time to practice that awareness.

It’s not easy–rewiring an entire brain rarely is–but becoming aware of the divine nature of us all (then, treating EVERYONE, yourself included, as such) is worth it.

Things started looking up in my relationships and outlook. When I made the effort to see the lessons in others, I couldn’t be hateful towards them. When I recognized my ability to be my best self at all times, and how I fell short, I felt more forgiving, yet more empowered to always shoot for that. Then, I realized that THAT could also apply to others.

Even the TRY, making the attempt to operate at a higher level, is fun. Almost addicting.

I started to feel myself become less gunked-up. The old stuff I was holding onto, I gradually started to release. When I started just being myself–kind, open, honest–it invited the same out of others. It allows for productive conversation, rather than setting the stage for combat.

But I had to do the scariest thing: Be the one to do it first. You get what you give, right?

And it’s not always easy… My ego digs its heels in & clings to fear. It’s SCARY to change the status quo or otherwise feel vulnerable.

I clam up.

Then, I ask myself,

“Is this really you?”

That’s usually when my bravery kicks in & I find myself chasing purse-snatchers or saying, “That makes me feel…” or hitting ‘Send’ on that maybe-it’ll-happen email.

After recognizing when I was letting fear win, I could break the cycle and just skip right to the “I’ll try,” and then the “I can” stage.

Because, after trying… and trying… and trying some more. it got easier.

The doubt I feel gets smaller and smaller as I get more in-touch with the me who loves the good stuff, who loves to try & to succeed. And I remember that, in order to be that, I have to just BE.

Sometimes, I forget it. I get irritated, sucked into the drama, and start to react instead of being who I know I am.

I have to remind myself that my decisions reflect me, even in reaction to something.

I have to remind myself that I am in control of my future by being what I want it to be in every present moment, like they’re bricks of the life I’m constructing… be the change you wish to see, add a brick; perpetuate what serves no good, take out a brick…

So, maybe that means other people forget all that, too.

I also know how nice it feels to come back to that realization & to look at life as my own hero’s journey. And I want everyone to feel that, too. So, I want to be that reminder.

Our darknsss, mistakes, or histories don’t have to define us. We have the choice, at any time, to get on the track to being who we each know we are.

I think we can do it.