How do I stop people from taking advantage of me?

How do I stop people from taking advantage of me?

That’s the question isn’t it? You are taught to be nice and kind to others in the hope that they will “do the right thing” you listen to a “friend’s” sob story and hold their hand. Stay up late into the night despite having commitment that you cannot miss early in the morning and what happens? When you are going through that struggle that is ripping out your heart they downplay our emotions or, even worst, they ignore them and burden your tender heart with their problems.

You are not you.

You know you are handling it wrong but aren’t you suppose to be a martyr to be good? If we are all martyr won’t we catch each other as we fall? Nope. If that was the case we’d be like human dominos pinned under our neighbor’s problems. The fundamental flaw with this reasoning is you are always ignoring one person with this train of thought. You.

Your vehicle.

I was exactly the same way and often catch myself making the same habitual mistakes. Old habits take a while to correct. You see the thing is you are not this body that we wear. When people age, interestingly enough, they visualize themselves at a specific stage of their lives. Maybe it’s their prime. I see myself in my mid 20s despite being in my 40s. The physical body around us ages and we see this “flesh suit” that is not us but a weather version of what we have come to see ourself as. In reality if you were to swap bodies I believe it would only be a matter of time until that body would replace the image of yourself. Especially if that body is younger than the one you are currently occupying. I do not believe gender or sexual preferences are connected to the body. I believe they are connected to the soul.

Knocked some dumb into me.

I recently experienced a sort of concussion. I am not sure if it was a true concussion but it still taught me about who I am. I was ridding an electric skateboard and, foolishly, looked down while basically tailgating a car. I assumed that the car would be a great indicator of the conditions of the road. When I drive I judge the movement in the body of the car in front of me to anticipate potholes (dips) bumps (jumps) and large puddle or traffic (braking). Unfortunately, I didn’t consider the differences in vehicles since the car easily let a protruding manhole cover, as well as the large pothole before it, slide between it’s axels. To my dismay I was able to see it happen in slow motion. I tried to brake. There wasn’t enough room to swerve. I hit the pothole followed by the protruding manhole cover. I was airborne in an instant. I attempted to lean back, I believe, and that’s how I found myself flying feet first in the air. I probably experienced weightlessness for 5 feet before landing. As I hit the floor my backpack hit first. The back of my skull and helmet struck next. I slid for another 10 feet feeling that it was remarkable that I was covering so much distance without feeling much. Clearly I was in shock. My forearm scrapped against the asphalt as I slid but I didn’t feel it. I wondered how far the car was behind me, if there was one behind me, and how it was possible to be sliding for so long. I stood up and went the the sidewalk. I took my board and sat down. Picked up my phone and saw it wasn’t even cracked. As I sat there I felt a bit confused and a bit dazed. I noticed people across the street at a restaurant looking at me but no one said a thing. I decided I should probably not just sit there. As I stood I felt as if drunk. My sense of balance was askew and it felt like the world was on a 25 degree tilt. I kept falling a bit to the left and caught myself until I realized what was happening and compensate for the perceptual distortion.

Transformations: Blessings in Disguise.

Soon after I realized that NYC wasn’t unlikely to come to my rescue so I started working to back to my work. Right next door there was a AAA that was open all night. Clive was kind enough to offer to look after me when I told him what had happened. I explained the symptoms of a concussion and described how I was injured, the location of my skull that I suspected suffered the brunt of the force and the symptoms I was currently experiencing. I explained that, in the event I should lose consciousness these would be questions an EMT might ask.

The room small and lit with a sterile light. It was hot with no ventilation. There wasn’t a place to sit and I realized that nausea was setting in, most likely, due to the poor air quality and light affecting my muted senses. I told him I was going to work (next door) he asked if I was sure and I was so I departed. It was much better at the front desk of our building but I started to think that, again, I would be alone, and risked losing consciousness without anyone being able to signal for help or knowing what has happening.

I called my friend Mike, who had just left work, and explained the situation. He immediately turned around and started walking back so I asked in if, instead, I could hang at his place. He agreed to “babysit” me as that was implied. I texted him my wife’s number as a just–in–case. I wasn’t sure if I would wake up once I went under and I wanted her to be notified.

Sometimes there is so little to say goodbye too and, at times, that’s a comfort. I didn’t have time to call all my closest friend (about 6 people) but I am expressive and have told them I love them and appreciate them. I have said my goodbyes (in my mind at least) many times. Mike know what the phone number meant. He met me at the taxi and took my board and my bag. He walked behind me. As he read my body language I read his. I saw the concern in his eyes, the fake smile with a joke. The assessment in his glance. This was business Mike. Emotions were shelved and, if World War 3 were to break out at that very moment there is no one on this earth that I could trust more to read and infer what needed to be done, no matter the cost. That is something that I did not know about Mike until I knew it. Sometimes revelation and knowledge hit at once. It seem obvious, like you always knew. This was one of those lessons from a connected source. I knew it to be true and I was literally betting my life on this individual. I have been that person for many but I have never had that need until that moment.

I felt vulnerable but relaxed. As I spoke it was like the words floated away as the sentence formed in my head and I had to pull them back into the right syntax. I spoke slowly and deliberately. The fog gradually began to clear but there was a throbbing headache. I told Mike to check behind my ears (blood will pool there in a small bubble beneath the skin) to check my pupil dilation (if they are dilating at different rates or one is non-responsive or irregular that means call the ambulance), I explained possible nausea and he gave me a bag to use. Mike kept me talking. About an hour and half later I felt better. Sentence formation didn’t feel like I was shoving square blocks into round holes with each word. I thanked Mike and looked to call an Uber. The fee was about $150 so I opted to take the train, foolish, I know. Mike walked me to the station and offered to take me home but in the end I respect his decisions and trust his judgement and he does the same for me. There was no argument or false trivialities. We parted ways with me promising to text when I got home. Everyone was asleep when I arrived at home and my phone was dead. I put it on the charger and shot Mike a thank you text.

I was in a fog for the next few days. Liza stopped by work and shared some poetry that was very dear and personal to her. I regret that I had a hard time grasping the depth of it’s meaning. Normally I could consume volumes of information at a single sitting. It wasn’t uncommon for me to study up on a random topic for 8-12 hours with barely stopping to eat or drink. Now, however, I had trouble understanding any deep or abstract concepts. If someone said something mentally challenging I would feel the deep headache increase in intensity. This was not me. Yes. It was my body but it was not me. Eventually I made a full recovery (I believe) but this taught me some valuable lessons.

Lesson 1: Regulate the flow to your audience.

To think deep is great but consider your audience. They are not slow or stupid but we each have a stream of consciousness what we can tolerate from another human being. Some are as wide as a fire hose and others as narrow as straws. It’s not right to mentally “douse” someone with information that is drowning their understanding. It may feel great to pour that stream fourth and reflect upon all the nuances but the receiver might not be enjoying it as much as you are.

Lesson 2: I am not my body.

This one took a bit longer to understand. To be honest I am not certain I understand all the implications. Some lessons need to be unpackaged but what I can say is this: When I wasn’t myself and had to throttle down to understand what was happening around me I realized that this container that I reside in is not me. It’s like I had a fast car all my life and now I had a flat tire. I identified with this vehicle. I thought it was me. But, if that was the case, then what was happening. Was I now suddenly different? No, I felt the same inside. So it wasn’t my brain that made me me. Later, I came to realize that this body, the brain and even the emotions are not me. I am the soul that resides in this vessel. What’s more is that I was taking poor care of this body who is in fact a separate entity from my person. Didn’t I have the same obligations towards this body that I had towards other people? How am I a good person if I mistreat this blessing I have been given? Where is my appreciation. All of this took time to realize. It wasn’t until months later that I realized that last part.

Herein lies the key. You have the same obligation towards this vessel as you do to any of your friend. If not you cannot claim to be a good person. If two friends need your help you evaluate which needs it more and help that person. Here you are two friend. Another person and this body. You need to help feed it, take care of it’s emotions, cloth it, give it rest and move it around. In a way it’s your closest friend and you – in being a “good person”– have been abusive to the one human being who is always there for you. That’s not right. Don’t ignore it, take responsibility and change. Don’t talk down to yourself or abuse yourself. Don’t prioritize other people’s emotions at the expense of your own.

Kill your ego

Ah, but you don’t have an ego. You are humble. You take compliments graciously and say please and thank you. Great. Let’s say that again YOU TAKE compliments. Does that help? Well Mo, if I don’t take compliments then aren’t I abusing myself again? Glad you asked. See a few years ago I wrote a book (A few, more like a decade) that remains unpublished. This book is a reflection of my understanding of the world so, since I am still understanding, I am holding it. (Maybe it’s time to change that, a topic for another day) In this book there is a concept called:

The God Triangle

Subtle, I know, hint hint. As I was saying. The GOD triangle. I don’t like that anymore I no longer believe God is a God. Well it’s like a connection. Let’s call it The Connection to OmniAll–Conscious–Intelligence(Working Title) for now. Here’s how it happens you are walking down the street with a general SE(Self Esteem) of about 6/10 and you see someone you are attracted to that you know. Suddenly you do that mental check and realize you are wearing a pair of jeans with stains on them from painting your gazebo in leopard stripes (work with me here it’s late). Your SE takes a nose dive to a 3 as you approach. Suddenly this person is essentially higher because you have lost points. They go from a 7 to an 8 or 9 (in your eyes) then they see your pants. Instead of saying something negative they compliment them and ask where you got them. They say it looks good on you. Oh Shit! You’re the person! Your SE is costing at a 9. You are feeling great. You walk away with a spring in your steps and think how you can wash your favorite pants without losing the colors. Constant fluctuation of your SE is tied to external factors. If you are driving a luxury vehicle you have to justify it to yourself so you internally boost your SE. You take the “Right of Way” even if you know, in you hearts of heart it’s not the right way. So what do you do. Don’t you deserve this? Aren’t you supposed to “Do You” and all the other “positive” affirmations we are taught? No. But then are you supposed to undervalue yourself constantly? No. Use logic. If you are starving you will feel horrible, inversely if you over eat you will feel horrible. The answer is not in the extremes. In this case the key is to eliminate yourself in the process. You did not create your body. You did not make your great looks (I know there is plastic surgery but you will need to credit your doctor(but what if the doctor performs surgery on themsel… stop searching for excuses) This is where that connection comes in. We credit our creator who is alway with, in, near, around us at all times. If you take the credit yourself you ego is being stimulated. This stimulation of the ego leads to disaster. You cannot convey what you truly want to say because you worry about the other person’s reaction. Will they be upset? Will they blame you? Will they understand? How will YOU feel? All of these become barriers in expressing from your soul. And the other person? What about their ego, how will they feel? You need to draw the line of responsibility somewhere. Sincerity is your guide. If you are honest and sincere in expressing your feeling AND you kill your ego you can apologize and genuinely mean it. Even if the other person get’s upset you will remain calm because you know that is not them. It is their ego that is dominating their emotions. So why put them through this? Simple. To get to the other side. Once you kill your ego and let sincerity be your guide. Give the compliments you received to your creator and praise the creator for the beauty you see around you instead of feeding other’s egos. Be sincere when you say something and don’t use pleasantries but rather speak from the heart. This ego is a veil that divides us from others. To destroy it means another human being, is you, there is not distinction. Helping them is like helping yourself because you are all connected through this same being. Don’t worry about what people think but put your focus on your own strength and being true to the truth in the most gentle terms but the truth nonetheless.

Leave a Reply