Day 144: It doesn't matter what you say, I already decided I won't listen to you

I ended off in my previous post with saying how I started internalizing ‘pats on the back’ – in that, if I felt I had done something well, I would ‘congratulate myself’ and ‘feel proud about myself’ in relation to what I’d done. As well as the other side of trying to hide the mistakes I made, not only from others, but from myself as well.

Now, where I find the Prideful Character to be most apparent is in moments where someone makes a suggestion to me or points out that something I did could have been done differently. How I experience my reactions in such moments it that there is a sudden jolt of anxiety in my solar plexus area, as though the anxiety is coming from all over my body and centers in the solar plexus. And, you know, how anxiety is experienced like a ‘current’ – like a wild river suddenly rushing in – well, with the anxiety centering in my solar plexus, I first experience it as that fast moving energy, but only for a split second – and then it’s like I harden it into a rock. Like – if you’d have molten lava, and pour icy water of it and then it turns to hard rock. So, in those moments, there is first anxiety, which I then immediately transmute into that hardness/toughness, which you can call stubbornness, arrogance, righteousness. And then, from within that experience, I reply with justifications.

Now, this reaction pattern moves very fast and very automated. I had previously looked at the point, but there was a dimension I was missing. In opening up the Prideful character, I saw a new dimension. I had already seen the point of taking it personally, the fear of making mistakes, the self-judgment and the polarization from inferiority to superiority – but there is a specific dynamic that I had overlooked. And that dynamic is that – the action for which a person is giving me suggestions/comments/criticism – I had already congratulated myself on that, I had already classified it as a good thing or the right thing to do, and from there, given myself a pat on the back for doing that – and then, of course, I felt proud about myself. So, afterwards, in someone suggesting I could/should have done it differently – I’d feel I have to ‘give back’ that ‘pat on the back’ that I gave myself – and… well… I didn’t want to – lol. In slowing down the experience, there’s a thought of ‘no, no, no! I already made myself feel proud over that decision/action, I already validated myself through that – no, I don’t want to reconsider that at all!’

And of course, herein I am completely limiting myself – because all I want to do is stick to my opinion, the perception I had of myself in the past in terms of what I did and what I considered within making that decision/performing that action. I am unwilling to re-evaluate myself – let alone take responsibility for my mistakes.

If I allow myself to stick to that stance within myself, of righteousness, stubbornness, arrogance – then we get to that ‘other meaning’ of the word ‘pride’ – where a person takes on a stance of superiority to justify what self is doing, in spite of what is common sense or best for all. And so we’ve come full circle in the base design of ‘Pride’ and how it starts off seemingly innocent - ‘just a pat on the back’, but dependent on one’s relationship with these gestures – one can develop pride in the sense of arrogance, righteousness, spitefulness, self-centeredness and total disregard for others – which, fascinatingly, are characteristics described to whom? To female villains! Have a look at the evil queen in Snow White, the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty, the evil step mother in Cinderella – each of them are the Characterization of PRIDE – look at the stance, look at the facial expressions, look at the obsessions – they are all expressions of pride.

I’ll continue in my next post by using the movie ‘Maleficent’ as a reference of the play-out of the pattern of pride, as it is quite clearly depicted there.