On Choosing Sanity

Lately, there’s been a been a bit more crazy showing up in my life than I like. Last night when I came home and reviewed some of the strange and irrational experiences I’ve had with various people over the last few days, I knew I needed to get on it.

I took a long hot bath in deep water. I lit and cleansed my apartment with Palo Santo smoke to help burn off the strange vibes. Then I sat down to think it through.

Sanity is to be reasonable, rational and lucid. Insanity is to behave in a manner that is out of touch with “reality”, to be irrational to the extreme, to live according to ideas that have no basis in the facts, or that blow the facts way out of proportion.

One of the hallmarks of crazy behavior that I’ve noticed is that the person behaving in an irrational manner is often painting them self as a serious victim. There are stories spun out of vapor of the things that have been done to them by those in their life who are actually often caring and loving people.

They make accusations that lead to imbalanced demands on others. Or they claim they have been unjustly treated to justify their own extreme, irrational or aggressive behavior.

As I mulled this over, I was immediately drawn back into my trauma resolution training. The individual who is acting crazy very likely has been treated unfairly or deprived of basic human needs by their formative caregivers. I’m not even talking about food and shelter.

I’m talking about the basic human needs for love, attention, support and to be seen and heard for exactly who we are. (Caregivers that give us the impression we need to change or adapt our organic selves to please them can be just as insidiously damaging as those who overtly abuse – because they cause the child to disbelieve their own nature.)

So anyway, when I see this irrational behavior played out in present-day life, I’m about 99% certain that it has everything to do with an imprint from life decades ago. This imprint was never addressed or resolved. So the stuck energy there is seeking expression and resolution wherever it can get it here and now. Which might be in relation to me, or you.

I could go on and on about this, because I think it’s fascinating and there are many facets that could be explored, but the sun is rising and I’ve got to go out into my day soon. So I’ll just offer up my two big conclusions on crazy:

First, it is not my, or your, job to be the receiver and metabolizer of others’ insane behavior. You might be someone who is fairly sensitive and caring, so you might seem like a receptive place for the energy of crazy.

You don’t have to be. It is not your job. It is only your job to take care of the animal that You are. Do not meet crazy on crazy’s terms. Stop, acknowledge the facts of the situation, and take sane measures to set a boundary. Involve others if necessary.

Second, we must each take care of our own sanity. You might not be an extreme case – your bits of crazy might be well concealed in the privacy of your home, or your head. But we are all highly vulnerable to the messages and energies of the world. So we need to be vigilant about coming back down to earth, to reality on a regular basis.

Speaking of, it’s time for me to go meditate. Sitting still, looking at thought, connecting to your breath, dropping into the present moment… these are excellent strategies for keeping life in perspective.

Let’s all take responsibility for the small and large ways we tamper with reality to meet our needs to feel special, or to rationalize our attacking behavior. Let’s all come down to earth and get a little bit more sane today. Are you in?



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