Again, I hear your point. You make an important statement above, Daniel, and I am going gently mention something here. I apply this to myself, and I would ask you to keep in mind that this is only how I use this, and I am not saying you should. It’s just a thought.
When I can’t let go of something, and it eats at me, especially if I feel the need to go after someone else, for me that’s a huge red flag that there’s something going on with me. Invariably there’s an issue I haven’t dealt with, something that I either don’t want to look at or that is personally offensive to me. Either way, and again, Daniel, I can only speak for myself here- the shit that bothers me the most is stuff I carry inside. That’s the gift. If I have a vendetta, then what that tells me is that I have something that I do, that I feel, a way of being that I demonstrate that needs cleaning up. However that doesn’t say that this is a right way to see or be for everyone. When I turn that spotlight on myself, it goes into the deep folds of my inner world where I really just do not want to look. Shit lurks in there that I’d rather not face. However, when I do, that gives me an opportunity to clean it up.
Let’s be fair. This is really difficult work. I understand your anger, and I feel the same way about all the Lance Armstrongs and lying assholes that take claim for things they didn’t do (like the Jerkoff in Chief). In my own life, I had a coach who helped me put together my very first book which went on to win three prizes. After that, every time I saw the man, he would tell people — while standing right in front of me no less- that he had come up with the name of the book (he hadn’t) and made claims to other pieces that I had written, created and produced. I know his history, I know his damage, and I also know that this is how he deals with deep, horrific insecurity, a history of child abuse. But this damaged our relationship and I never worked with him again. However, watching him do this forced me to question where I was a braggart, where I might have made claims that were inappropriate, where I might have taken credit where I shouldn’t have. It was an excellent experience in developing self-awareness. I appreciated his gifts, but the rest, thanks but no thanks.
Here’s the piece, Daniel. This coach, who is just a year younger than I am at 64, will never change. This is who he is. And if you called him on it he would deny it to his dying breath. He has the self awareness of a bowl of oatmeal. Brilliant, talented, and deeply troubled. I can be angry, or I can be mindful of his gifts to me, and let it go. That way I’m free. Ultimately all I can do is work hard on my own life, and that forces me to fix what I don’t like or respect, and continue to monitor where I have strong reactions. Invariably- and again, please, this is only how I deal with it- my anger or outrage are usually symptoms of my own stuff. That doesn’t mean I don’t get outraged. What it does mean is that I don’t waste time trying to fix, punish, out, or otherwise transform those who cannot be transformed by outside forces. I can only work with me. And in that, I can set an example, be free, and not suffer the effects of being angry at what I can’t change.
As you point out quite rightly, those who are infected by their own hyperbole fudge the truth. It’s a disease. A lot of us get caught up in that hyperbole because we so badly wish to believe that some among us are demi-gods. The problem is that if you come along, as you have, and point out the rips in the fabric, you’re the bad guy. Just look at people who are Koolaid guzzlers for Trump. Once they’re on the bandwagon they don’t wish to be made wrong for admiring someone who turns out to be rotten inside. That reflects badly on them, and their choices. It’s just ever so much easier to scream “fake news” rather that fact check. That’s too much like work.
Rather like personal responsibility.
Again, Daniel, I’m not telling you what to do. I only know what I do. That doesn’t make it right for anyone else. But what I do know is that I have more peace that way. My life is short enough already to not let other’s pecadilloes ruin my own.
I appreciate all your points, and all your information. It has changed who I choose to highlight, and that’s important.