Confessions of a Button Pusher


Note to Self:  The phony views the authentic person with disdain; the authentic person views the phony with compassion.

This note to self is something I have really come to appreciate in recent years, in general, and during my current time of transition, in particular.  I used to be a person who craved love from others, sometimes to the point of “selling my soul” to get the desired affection or approval.  However, as I have matured, the less willing I am to sell myself to the highest bidder (of love).  I am able to appreciate my specialness more and more as I increasingly realize that I am here to play an important role in the world!

As a result, the more I appreciate who I am (and that I am here to play an important role), the more talents I have discovered that I have.  In particular, I have realized that I am great at pushing people’s buttons!  While this talent certainly has a dark side, it can be used for constructive purposes, as well.  The dark side of this ability is displayed when one pushes another’s buttons for personal gain; the higher use of this talent can be seen when one who is consciously acting in a way that is consistent with his normal, natural manner invokes a negative response from another.  This most likely happens because the button pusher is reminding the button “pushee” of a truth that is not being embraced by the “pushee”.  After all, a person with buttons is a person with an unconscious fear of some kind, while a person with no buttons is a conscious person with no fear.

It seems to me that by definition, a person in a state of fear is being phony because he is not acting in a normal, natural way.  While this phony behavior may be useful to help a person survive a moment of danger, to maintain the behavior when that dangerous moment has past is to embrace the phoniness as if it were one’s true self.  An authentic person, by contrast, is by definition, acting in his normal, natural way in the moment and is therefore, not being fearful.

The human condition has shown me that it is far easier to come from a place of fear than of love.  I believe that this is because living creatures tend to unconsciously subscribe to the philosophy “It is better to be safe, than sorry.”  So, anyone who is consciously living authentically has most likely overcome a fear or two in the process of attaining that state of authenticity.  Therefore, those who have overcome a fear are likely to have compassion for those who have not yet done so.  On the other hand, those who do not even realize that they are in a state of fear, cannot appreciate the overcoming of it and are most likely to view those who have overcome it to be weird or distasteful in some way because such weird behavior does not match up with their (fear-based) perception of reality.

I have noticed a tendency between people to react to each other in like ways.  If one person is acting “negatively” toward the other, the others tends to act “negatively” back.  Likewise, if one acts “positively” toward another, the other will tend to act “positively” in return.  If one of the two people is acting consciously, the cycle of “reflective reaction” can be broken, but only if the less conscious person “wakes up” and realizes what is going on.  Otherwise, the less conscious person will remain in a state of fear and not appreciate the state of the conscious person.

So, if you find yourself reacting negatively to someone, your reaction is probably an indication that a button is being pushed and is ultimately reminding you that you are being phony in some way.  Are you willing to acknowledge this so that you may embrace your authenticity?

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