Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spontaneity, I presume?

I was recently jones-ing for a fix of Benedict Cumberbatch in the show, “Sherlock”. I always feel smarter and more cunning after watching an episode of this screen tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As I was watching the show, I was trying to understand why I like it so much. I think the reason is, in part, because of Sherlock’s spontaneous and totally inconsiderate wit (I like the show, “House” as well, probably for the same reason.)

On the other hand, I have strong negative feelings toward the absolute lack of spontaneity exhibited by customer service representatives who read from a script. So negative, in fact, that images of heinous crimes seem to spontaneously float in to my head when I am talking to said representatives. It’s even worse when they can’t read well.

(I suppose it is ironic that both the things I enjoy and those I dislike are from a script. Feel free to analyze that and let me know what you come up with.)

The sociometric reality which we inhabit with the rest of humanity is like a jigsaw puzzle with infinite shapes, colors, pieces, and potential attachments. The feeling of well-being and satisfaction when our piece fits with someone else’s is quite apparent as is the discomfort when the pieces just don’t match. 
Photo Credit: Justin Henry

The nature of a jigsaw puzzle piece is that it sticks out in some places and also has voids to be filled by surrounding pieces. That reality dictates that if you put a square in to the mix of puzzle pieces, despite his perfection and smoothness he has no place among the jumble of his more unevenly shaped peers.

The protrusions and vacancies in the pieces are what enable a child to find the places where the puzzle pieces fit.

So too in our world. Our assets and deficiencies are what enable us to live with others. Your energetic protrusions fit well with my energetic vacancies and we develop a relationship. I have not gained anything by camouflaging all of the things that make me an individual rather I have only created a scenario where I can be discarded from social interaction because there is nothing to be done with me, I am a square piece.

Spontaneity is defined as “performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination…”. Practicing spontaneity is one of those things that help us show up as we are with our assets and deficiencies.

So just be yourself ;-)

Ok, that was so trite I almost got sick. I’ve heard that all my life and the cheerful suggestion always irritated me because I’ve never been quite sure who I am and so I am similarly not sure how to be myself. However, in spite of not really knowing what it means to “be yourself” it usually doesn’t take me too long to realize when I am doing something or thinking in a particular way which is not congruent with me. I can’t always say why that is but I can usually feel the negative vibe of when I’m being someone I’m not. 
Similarly I usually have some level of discomfort when I am not being or doing something that would be congruent with who I am.

This can all be boiled down in to one slightly uncomfortable question. When you are feeling uncomfortable with your own behavior, whether active or abstaining, ask yourself: why?

I challenge you to be brave and answer the question honestly but this means that you don’t stop at the first answer. Get your first answer but then apply the question of ‘why’ to that answer as well. Follow the trail down the rabbit hole and see what you find. I think you might find a key to accessing your spontaneity.

As usual, if you or someone you know would like to explore this further then give me a call. 303-803-4832

Best wishes for discovering your protrusions and vacancies.

Sincerely yours,
Ari Hoffman MA LPC