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    Battlefield Tea Party

           “What the hell happened to me?”
            That question is usually asked under less than optimal circumstances. Like waking up the morning after an all nighter and not knowing where you are or how you got there. Even worse, waking up one morning in the middle of your life and not recognizing it. Or yourself. That’s much scarier than the first scenario. And more common. Has it happened to you? It has to me. More than once.
            My particular circumstances may have been different than yours, but the feelings probably weren’t. I wasn’t in a job that I didn’t like. My finances were okay. I owned several pieces of property. I was a bachelor who enjoyed good health. I had a beautiful girlfriend. From the outside, everything looked great. That’s the point. On the outside, everything was great. But I wasn’t. I was in constant pain. Because inside, it was war. And I was losing.
            The battle raged on between the real me and the me I had created to survive. The war analogy works here, but in complete reverse. In the middle of the two me’s, there’s the “battlefield”. That’s actually the okay part. Because that’s where the real me and the other me are engaging. Where they meet. It’s really more like a tea party than a fight. The problem lies in the two opposing camps. That’s where the real mayhem is.
            The two sides take up different amounts of internal space. This is a battle of territory. And the self is the landscape. The “real me” needs more room. The “survivor me” has got most of it, and he doesn’t want to give it up. When the two engage, they’re actually able to work things out. That’s the battlefield tea party. That’s who the world sees when I engage in life. When I feel safe and can be myself. It’s the person that my friends know and love. It’s the me that plays drums in a band, or throws killer parties, or goes to California and makes films about the trip. It’s the me that connects easily with people, and finds life infinitely fascinating and wondrous.
            This battlefield tea party was me at my best. It’s the me I was about twenty percent of the time. Unfortunately, the tea party didn't last very long, and it wasn’t big enough. Eventually, the survivor me took charge and ended the soiree. The landscape got altered, and therefore so did I. When the party’s over, I am too. The real me goes back to its camp, doesn’t engage, and waits for the next chance to shine.
            That was the way I used to be.
            The real me is finally winning the war. No longer in constant conflict, the person I created to survive now takes up much less internal real estate. More troops have joined the tea party, which now goes on for days at a time. The real me, all of him, is showing up, a lot more often. And he’s staying around longer too. This blog, this website, is living proof of that.
            “What the hell happened to me?” was that I got in touch with how I felt. All the way down to the bottom. When I did that, when I opened my heart, I started winning. I started winning myself back.
            Getting in touch with your heart is what gets you yourself back. And there is no greater prize on the planet.

    © 2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and Wrongs) Reserved

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