Feb 20, 2012

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I Am Rubber, You Are Glue

I Am Rubber, You Are Glue

For some reason yesterday I was thinking about a saying my Grandmother taught me to use as a response to kids who made fun of me at school (which happened often). It was meant to show them how ‘not bothered’ I was by what they were saying  (which was usually a lie; this teasing bothered me deeply). I’m sure you all know the whole thing: “I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!” And, of course, it isn’t complete without the sing-songy voice that delivers it.

The ideal, I think, would be that they would turn the insult back on themselves, feel the pain of their wrongdoing, and change their ways forever (after, of course, they apologize profusely for the harm they have caused). I don’t know about your experience with this particular phrase, but the ideal rarely happened. In fact, I hardly remember what happened because I blocked most of it out. It was rough being named Starr in a time and school where unusual names like mine weren’t so commonplace. I’m sure being an only child helped, too; I wasn’t used to the cultural normal that children tend to fall into when they relate to one another (aka, mean). I spent a lot of time as a kid with adults.

I also recall being told about how when you point at someone else, there are three (four?) fingers pointing back at you. When I was young  I remember responding with something like, “So?” Again, I believe this was an attempt to get the accuser to see whatever they were accusing the other of in themselves, hoping for a shift of some sort on the behavior of the pointer.

After pondering thoughts of Rev. Sharon Foley’s talk yesterday about Love, being aware of our own self-talk, and how our self-talk completely effects how we then talk to others, I wondered if maybe all of them were saying the same thing. The tough part for me, and probably for most of us, is that we have no idea how to not take things personally, which then gets in the way of how we interpret others and what they say and do. In reality, what people do has very little – if anything – to do with us. Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements, says that to take something someone else does as having to do with us is the highest form of selfishness. Ouch.

Going back to the rubber & glue, I consider this: Is it actually possible to say something shitty to another human being and not hurt ourselves? Whether you think about the energy of something, or the psychology of it, holding on to judgments of others and feeling righteous enough to spit them out is mostly likely affecting us. Or, turning it around, the fact that we are saying something nasty at all shows we are already effected by something, or we wouldn’t be attempting to discharge our crappy feeling onto something seemingly separate.

Ah, there’s the word I was circling around: Separate. To actually insult or hurt you with my words, and then believe that those words have no affect on me is to believe in total and utter separation. A belief in: I end here (touch body) and you start over there (where your body can be felt). Under that assumption, it is easy to understand why it would be helpful to discharge our ick onto those around us – then it wouldn’t be present in us anymore and we could move on. Now it is theirs to deal with. In this belief, I can do whatever I want to you without it having any affect on me. But, alas, this is not the case…

The more modern our science gets, the more it is pulling away from any belief in separation of anything whatsoever. In fact, Quantum Physics supports the idea that We Are One with Everything. In my favorite movie, I <3 Huckabees, it is said that “if you look close enough you can’t tell where my nose ends and space begins, because they’re Unified.” Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, says:

The Unity of Good is a revelation of the greatest importance, for it teaches us that we are One with the Whole and One with each other.

I could spend a decent amount of time searching and quoting scientists, songs, poets, philosophers, and even movies and TV shows that all agree: When you break it down, we’re all ONE. We’re all made up of the same “stuff” as Neale Donald Walsch calls it. But if you really don’t believe me, you can do the research yourself! I’ve been studying these principles for about a decade, and all the masters and mystics agree that there is a something – an energy, a force, a spirit – that connects us all, and is us all.

So, what does this have to do with glue? Well, in a round-about way, I’m proving that old saying somewhat correct; whatever crappy thing I say to you is more likely to affect me than you. Unless of course you choose to let it affect you a lot, but that would be your choice, not my doing. If I am in a position to say something that I wouldn’t normally say, what if it speaks more to the mood I am in than to the person I’m pointing the finger at? I get to carry around the pain of being an ass if I’m not careful; you can just blow it off to me having a bad day. You can choose the quality of your rubber, but I can never get off this damn glue.

I guess all of this is just another opportunity (AFGO?) to be more conscious about what we’re saying, and even more than that, why we have a need to say it at all. Will it help? Us or others? What do we really want out of this particular situation? Will doing communication this way help get us that? Is all of this a distraction from what we’re actually feeling so we don’t have to look at it? Do we recall being on the other end of this type of behavior and how it felt? Are we willing to let go of our urge to hurt others and be honest that if we’re all One the hurt won’t go anywhere unless we deal with it by looking it right in the face and knowing we’re not it? All of these questions and more we can ask ourselves before we say something we regret. If we’re the receiver of someone else’s ick, then we can shift those questions to wondering what pain the other person might be in to be saying these things at all, recalling our own pain and how we attempted to relieve it in the past in unhealthy ways.

In the end, if we’re really One, we’re all the rubber and we’re all the glue. Every day we have times where we are the giver and times where we are the receiver of beautiful things and ugly things (according to our individual perceptions), and we all get to choose how life affects us. I, for one, feel more at ease when I am smiling at another than when I’m yelling at them. I whole-heartedly believe we each have the power to chose a smile more often than not, and that those smiles are powerful enough to shift our reality as we know it into something that more often that not reflects the Beauty of us all.

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