“Where are your treasures?”
We humans love our “ruts” .
We get up in the morning, (shave?), wash (?), make coffee, fire up the computer … daily-following some unknowingly-programmed but carefully-honed combinations of morning ablutions, dressing, eating, drinking, conversing gently with those we love (?) and, we predictably start thinking about the coming day.
We really are much like deer who take the same trails for centuries—even when that trail no longer makes sense.
And then … the phone rings … or the doorbell rings … or someone gets sick … or someone dies … or some deadline looms (~ like having to renew our Immigration permits ~ or ~ dealing with getting our previously-legal cars out-of-the-doghouse).
Each, and all, are change beyond our control.
If we briefly step outside our ruts, and step outside our frustrations and reactions to these changes, we might notice that change is a constant.
If you can still see-light and hear-thunder, then things are changing.
If you breath-out, and then breath-in … things are changing.
If we are living in the same settings where we grew-up, matured (? *grin* ?) and live around neighbors whom we sort-of-know, then we have at least a reasonable shot at understanding the changes. But……
What happens when we are living in a different place—and the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes?
What happens if we don’t speak the language of where we live?
What if we are foreigners—living far from from our original nests and regular haunts?
Do we really have much of a chance of quickly or clearly understanding the inevitable changes, as a foreigner living in a foreign land?
Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Nestlé, satellite TV, Magic Jack, Skype ~ alcohol and internet ~ offer momentary physical comforts—briefly distracting the psyche—but they are not foundations worthy of trusting when the slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-fish inevitably comes.
What if most of our day-to-day interactions are mainly with other out-of-place foreigners—living and chatting together in our little enclaves … unknowingly isolated from the real lives of the local community—experiencing “locals” and learning-about-México through the maid and the mozo.
As change rolls through and over us:
Do we tend to repeat our same very-limited-understandings with the other members of the enclave tribe until we have heard the same thing we proposed last week now repeated from multiple seemingly-different, seemingly-independent sources—when in reality, it is all just oft-parroted variations, originating from a single source?
When the same message is repeated within a closed-community and then reflects back to us from multiple different directions, then even heavily-flawed and false-messages/ideas take on an air of reality and truth….
Subconsciously, when one person claps, it incites others (a slight distance away), to start clapping….
The clapping spreads—as primal the urge to be part of the group…part of the tribe—washes over us, triggering our most primitive internal wiring to fire, fire, fire…. The clapping swells … and grows … and ultimately spreads to everyone in the once-apathetic crowd—all applauding what was actually a mediocre, modestly-flawed performance.
Really, it can be very challenging to live in a foreign land where change comes in seemingly random ways from unanticipated quarters—forced onto us by seemingly uncaring unreasonable-but-powerful individuals in unexpected ways—all experienced using past-templates and past-models that just do not fit our new foreign “home”—Clashing with how we think things are done—Colliding with how we think things should be done—Jarring us out of our once-comfortable ruts.
How do we deal with the daily, sometimes-jarring inevitable changes? Do we……
Dive even deeper into our ruts?
Repeat our mantras-of-comfort?
Go buy something to distract ourselves?
Take a drink and escape into well-worn routines of “WTF?” or “WTH!”?
Phone a friend?
Reach-out and touch other members of our group seeking re-assurance from “reliable” people and people “we trust” who have similarly impaired abilities to understand what is happening— unknowingly nurturing ever-deeper thickets of US v. them?
Even when the “US”… are people we imagine must magically be ”like us“~ fellow clappers ~ Creating loud clapping by an apparent group of us‘s ~ who simply share similarly-impaired abilities to understand what is happening?
Can you feel the power of the crowd? Can you feel its hunger for even more power? … its hunger for even more members … swelling Our Tribe to impressive proportions … driven by the drumbeats of conformance, building on internally-reflected waves of self-approval and assumed acceptance.
How dare one risk rejection in the face of such forces….
The Forces of the GET! – (gringo enclave tribes)
Just who do they think they are, making big fresh pot-holes in our carefully-rutted-roads?
Just what gives them the right … to disturb my world … OUR world?
Just who are they, that they think they can take advantage of me?… of US?
Why are they doing this … to ME?
IT’S NOT FAIR !!!!
THEY are abusing their power.
Must we get them, before they get us?
Do we take a breath?
Inhale … Exhale … slowly … and then smile knowingly ~ inside and outside ~ because we know at very deep levels that we are survivors.
We always have options. We are ultimately safe. We are ultimately and profoundly … secure … as long as the things we treasure are tucked deep inside us.
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read on, MacDuff.