I’ve a friend of a million years or so. In many ways he is ubermensch, which, in many ways, makes him inhuman, or at the very least an odd fish; he is straightforward, forthright in word, thought, and deed, and so entirely autonomous as to be nearly entirely self-determining. Many of his patterns of behavior I use for ideals to shoot for, goals that I can aim at without ever expecting to actually achieve them.
Recently I have been taking issue with my tendancy to permit other people to determine my emotional state. This actually only occurs in the case of one former lover, but it has been an issue. My perception of what she expects from me is that I feel guilt for what she feels, and responsibility for her emotional state. There is some difficulty in determining whether she actually expects those things. Certainly, my perceptions are colored by my own expectations of what she is likely to be feeling, but there is some objective evidence that indicates that she may feel what I believe she is feeling, expecting what I believe she is expecting. To begin to deal with my permitting her to decide when and for what I feel responsible, I decided that I should only let me decide what my emotional state should be.
And then I did it. I’ve been doing it for two weeks, and it just gets easier, even under extremely stressful circumstances. Especially under extremely stressful circumstances.
I appear to have simply and suddenly achieved the part of my friend’s ideal behavior (value assigned by me) that permits self-determination. Recently the former lover and I had several talks, long things that would normally have left me feeling saddened, bereft, confused and panicked and enraged, guilt-ridden and curtailed by responsibilities I have assumed in conversation that I have no power to fulfill. Instead, I was saddened and bereft, reasonable and good and healthy emotions to feel when a relationship is losing some valuable facets. The former lover was feeling many things as well, and indicated that I should feel certain things, feel responsible for certain things, that I wasn’t feeling. I declined, gently and effortlessly.
I am, apparently, an odd fish now, too. Now I wonder, now that I can do what my friend does, if the ability to suddenly stop feeling self-destructive impulses, or the ability, at least, to stop acting on them, is an indicator of healthy self-determination or if it something that is described somewhere in psychological pathology.
Whichever, comfort, stability, and opportunity for happiness within the confines of my pathology seem to be a desireable end, so I’ll keep my dysfunction (if dysfunction it be) until something better comes along that will serve the same purpose.
I wish uber-Menschheit came with directions and exact definition.