OPENING PANDORA’S BOX

Does anybody really know what’s inside themselves?  Curiosity might lift the lid, but it’s the scary stuff within that prompts us to close it.  However, just like the evils that Pandora inadvertently loosed upon the world, we can’t force our own back into the box.

Self-examination ain’t for sissies.  All the nasty little behaviors that we are quick to spot in others are usually roosting within ourselves. How else would we recognize them?  I’ve often wondered if the reason we are quick to condemn others is because we secretly know we’re guilty of the same and want to punish ourselves in effigy.

Better someone else than me, right?  The only problem with that line of thinking is it rarely, if ever, delivers you from misery.  It just prolongs it.  If you know that you’re capable of low behavior, you can’t unknow it by passing the blame to another.

Why then is the process of redirecting so difficult?  Are we really so cowardly that we cannot face the truth?  Just yesterday, I listened to my neighbor complain about her wayward boyfriend.  Within the avalanche of angry tears and words, not once did she acknowledge her own hand in the events.

Nor did she mention the years of co-dependent behavior that fostered it.  Instead, as do we all, she focused solely on the perceived wrongdoing.  When I gently reminded her that she was free to walk away, she was appalled by the suggestion.  It seemed, despite her loud protests to the contrary, she was content with the degradation and almost reveled in it. 

Is that all there is, sacrificing ourselves, our lives and our happiness just to prove a point?  Is this a competition?  If so, what’s the prize?  It must be a good one, judging from the volume of people participating, captivating their limited imaginations like so many of the viewers of Dancing with the Stars.

Eventually even that mind-numbing opiate won’t conceal the task you’ve left unfinished.  If you think you’re itching now, just wait.  No amount of scratching will put it back into the box; you’ll have to face this one head on.

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