Friday, April 1, 2011
Welcome to Crazy Town!
"She's just a friend who's going through a rough time."
"You're being ridiculous. I hate it when you act like this."
"If you believe I'm cheating, I might as well just go ahead and do it!"
Welcome to Crazy Town! Like a sign that notes population (there's a lot of us living there!), the above "slogans" are generally an indication that you've landed in Crazy Town. The problem with Crazy Town isn't that we so much arrive there all of a sudden, it's that we slip into it from a back route. We discover ourselves there after months or years of simply not consulting our internal GPS, the one that knows where we should be going...and therefore recognizes when we take a wrong turn. That voice that says, "please turn around and head left" or "I wouldn't recommend this route". It's the voice that gets drowned out by his voice, assuring us he'd "never do that." Or accusing us of cheating ourselves, based only on the fact that we're accusing him. Or it's the voice that sounds deceptively like our own, making excuses or assuming blame.
However, we get there, Crazy Town will only make you crazier the longer you stay there, until up is down, black is white, and everything that's ever gone wrong in his life is your fault.
The good news about Crazy Town is that it's possible to leave.
It starts with challenging the rules of the place.
Rules such as, "he wouldn't cheat if I was prettier/smarter/sexier/thinner/younger/insert-ridiculous-adjective-here". Rules such as "if I stop nagging/complaining/crying/accusing, he'll come back to me". Crazy rules that have little basis in truth, but pack plenty of emotional punch.
It often starts with a simple question (thanks to Byron Katie for this nugget of wisdom): Is it true?
We too often assume to know what another is thinking. Or why they're doing what they do. Or accept blame for something that, upon closer examination, can't possibly be our responsibility.
Is it true?:
Am I truly unlovable?
Am I to blame for someone else's lies and deception?
Is it my responsibility to keep someone faithful? Is it even possible to control another's choices?
Must I accept that men are programmed to cheat?
No, no, no, no and no.
And a funny thing happens when you start challenging these long-held (or sometimes short-held but deeply felt) beliefs, you start to recognize them as ridiculous. Not right away. But slowly, with increasing scrutiny, these "rules" start to sound like what they are: bullshit crazy talk.
No-one deserves to be lied to and deceived.
No-one deserves to have their own needs dismissed.
No-one deserves to be betrayed by the very person who promised not to.
And no-one deserves to be told they're crazy, unhinged, jealous, ridiculous, a nag, etc. by the very person whose actions are making them feel that way.
It's time to pack your bags and leave Crazy Town. With a simple passport consisting of three words – Is it true – you can begin to de-program yourself from your paralyzing beliefs.
And get the hell outta town.