Monday, March 30, 2009


I'm learning something about myself.

For a few years now, in recovery and elsewhere, I've heard the idea of projecting your own feelings/views/opinions/character defects/whatever onto others, and I'm coming to realize more and more that it happens with me.

My last two posts here have been critical of my initial experience with something I was interested in. Unitarianism/Universalism, and Ubuntu Linux. Both experiences involved feeling less than welcome. When I went to church on Sunday, nobody greeted me with big smiles and took my hand and guided me through everything. When I installed Ubuntu today, it didn't greet me with big smiles and take my hand and guide me through everything. I conclude that there's some part of me that has an ongoing (and unfulfilled) need to be guided through everything.

Another thing too. I was upset by a posting on an Internet message board, where the "regulars" were critical of what (and how) a new member posted. It plugged me back into my fears of being embarassed in new situations. Rather intensely. My knee-jerk reaction was to be critical of the criticizers. "Be a little more sensitive to the new guy!" I think "Little Jack" in me was trying to say "Be a little more sensitive to me!"

So what do I do with this? The conventional wisdom is, my reactions say more about myself than about whatever it is I'm reacting to. It could be that the Internet regulars, the UU's, and the Linux geeks are no more unwelcoming than anyone else--maybe I'm just overly sensitive. It could be that I need to change my expectations of new situations and learn new skills for dealing with them.

Or I could just say that everything sucks, and I can continue to be bitter. It would certainly be the "easier, softer way."

Or maybe I could admit that I'm a scared little child, that I don't know what I'm doing, that I need help, that I'm afraid to change, and that change from within, not hand-holding, is what I desperately need.

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