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In the last post I began looking at how the purpose of a freaking mess will expose a core need in you that requires you to correct or adjust before you’re able to move forward. Abraham Maslow introduced in 1943 a paper addressing human motivation. In this work, he detailed what has become known as the hierarchy of needs. Maslow identified five areas, from top to bottom, as the core needs expressed in every person: 1. Self-actualization; 2. Esteem; 3. Love / belonging; 4. Safety; 5. Physiological.
Run For Cover
The core need of safety, the second from the bottom, is where a direct attack in a freaking mess is the most obvious. This is the place where the security is the most fragile in life. The security of your body and its health; your job; your finances, resource or property; your family and your morality are all the areas that a freaking mess loves to have a field day.
I’ve stated in the book, that a freaking mess is the collective thoughts and actions of a social order thrust upon the unwilling who it left to deal with the consequences. Some have stated to me that this description does not take into account natural events that also create a freaking mess (i.e. hurricane, tornado, floods, fires.) which I agree. But most of the real freaking mess happens in these events when social structures fall apart trying to address the needs of the victims in these events.
Consider this: Today, reports come out detailing a shooting which occurred in New York City around the Empire State Building. A fired employee shoots a manager at his past workplace. This unquestionably is a freaking mess, however it appears that from reports that the “freak” needed to be notched up a bit. Apparently, some of the shooting victims may have been hit by the police firing at the assailant.
Here is the hit on a core need of safety on many fronts. What is the purpose of this freaking mess? This is a tragedy so I’m not going to make light of it. Yet consider that the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg has been a very vocal proponent to gun control laws. Does that same concern also apply in this matter when those who are supposed to protect the innocent become the aggressor to the unwilling?
Let’s consider the responsibility of the former employer of the assailant. Is there any responsibility shared by the business and its employees in this freaking mess? Did they take appropriate action to not only dismiss this person but also determine the social impact such a move would have on the relationships with the other employees?
I understand that people snap. However, the behavior they demonstrate is only indicative of a direct hit on a core need. The safety need is the zone of greatest impact spawning the wildest demonstrations of behavior.
A social order has to learn from a freaking mess too, however, a knee-jerk response for stricter enforcement of laws is not learning. It’s more of the same trip around the same issue. To call for “more safety” is to call for a response to a core need which is under attack. Watch what becomes of the public dialogue about this matter and how the private individual’s safety needs are further constrained in order to prevent another freaking mess from occurring. Lessons that should be embraced will again be overlooked for the good of maintaining the social order. The unwilling will once again face the consequences.
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A freaking mess attacks you in a core need. Its purpose is to expose and correct/adjust. Many feel the exposure and rarely acknowledge the need to correct. Failure to correct/adjust means you’ll experience one freaking mess after another until you get it through your thick head you need to correct/adjust. The question that must be addressed is what the core need that is being attacked is.
In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed a new theory in human psychology in a paper entitled, “A Theory of Human Motivation.” In this groundbreaking study, Maslow explored the hierarchy of human needs and how they influence the growth of humans. His work has been widely used throughout the psychology field in a variety of ways. What I’m going to give you here plays off of Maslow’s theory.
Volcanoes don’t slumber
The world is populated with a vast array of dormant volcanoes. Even though scientists monitor them, they can’t predict the exact time that they will come back to life. A freaking mess is a dormant volcano suddenly becoming active, blowing its top off and spewing hot bile all over the place. Excuse me, I got that description wrong. It should be:
YOU in a freaking mess are a dormant volcano suddenly becoming active, blowing its top off and spewing hot bile all over the place.
What is the one thing that everyone sees in your freaking mess? No, it is not the color of your underwear, but how you react to the color of your underwear. Your behavior, or reactions, is the top of the volcano that blows when the freaking mess happens. What spews out from your behaviors is indicative of your needs being attacked. So let’s begin to look at those things which lie underneath.
Inside it all
Since a freaking mess is specifically designed for each person, we need to look at what comprises the demonstration of a behavior. In the example to the right we see the hierarchy which leads to the expression of a behavior. To express this correctly, every behavior, or reaction, comes from the thoughts and feelings we have in the moment, which are based on the values and beliefs we have about our core needs being met.
The deeper down the hierarchy the attack of a mess has penetrated, you will see the more explosive the behavior becomes. A standard mess typically will only go as far as hitting the values and beliefs of a person. A freaking mess will always hit your core needs, which brings us to Maslow. Maslow identified five areas, from top to bottom, as the core needs expressed in every person:
- Love / belonging
The last area, physiological, deals with our most basic needs of breathing, food, water, sex, and sleep. During the fullest attack of a freaking mess any one, or all of these areas, are bombarded 24/7. It doesn’t take long for an explosion of “inappropriate” behavior to come to the surface during the onslaught. Understand what I’m about to say: it is appropriate to behave like you’re being bombarded – you are! However, this is your signal to get you fanny out of the fire and correct/adjust that thing which is being hit. The term “inappropriate” means that you’re spitting up hot volcanic bile on people who don’t like the smell or the mess it makes on them.
In the days ahead I will explore each of these core areas a little more to give you a sense of what is happening in your freaking mess. Maybe you’ll begin to recognize where you’ve been hit and how to get out of the barrage of in-coming armaments set to take you out.
There is something that I’ve learned in all the freaking messes that I’ve survived: There is nothing as serious as the intent you display to walk through.
Sounds cryptic I know but let me explain.
As I’ve previously stated, every mess has a purpose which only applies to the person that is going through the mess. Those around you are your audience. They are watching how you perform in this magnum opus. So the question is: Are you serious about going through the Freaking Mess?
Ask any actor what is the most daunting thing to overcome in a live performance and most will tell you it is having an audience that is serious when the action is intended to be light-hearted. The art in acting is in drawing the serious observer out of their reality into an alternate reality where their preconceived thoughts are tossed around like a beach ball in a hurricane.
A hurricane is what your freaking mess looks like to the observer. They want to stay as far away from the flying debris, the churning of emotions and torrent of tears as they possibly can. Their face will depict a seriousness in the matter that you must be cautious of because you may adopt its character when it isn’t appropriate.
Hurricanes, and freaking messes, have three phases to their ride:
1. The beginning
2. The eye
3. The end.
Phase one and three look the same in the end result however there is a big difference how they work which I’ll explain in a moment. Hurricanes are cyclical in nature, meaning they spin in a certain direction (clockwise in the northern hemisphere) and never alter in their spin.
When you get caught in the first phase it may hit you from your right side. Everything, the debris from its advance, comes from that direction. Direction is important here. You have to know where things are coming from to know where you’re at in the hurricane. This is because when you enter phase three the direction of things coming at you moves to your left side. When you see the obvious shift going from right to left, you know that the freaking mess, excuse me, the hurricane is leaving you.
The second phase, the eye, is a time of peace. It is brief, however it gives you time to catch your breath for what is about to come next in the third phase. This is the spot where most will read the faces of their audience and adopt the seriousness they see. Why? Because it’s the only time that you’ve got to look at what is happening around you. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.
You just made it through phase one and it should be a time to celebrate your success. You need to be happy that you made it this far. You need to evaluate what you gained versus what was taken all the while securing what you still possess. The celebration that you have must be short and intense because phase three is just around the corner. The exuberance that you experience in the celebration will be the fuel you need to make it through the next phase.
What makes phase three so different in a freaking mess is that unlike phase one, where you didn’t know what to expect or even how to react to the onslaught, you enter into the third phase having survived and celebrated that small victory. You now have stamina backed by determination to complete the mess. Sure, crap comes at you, but it doesn’t have the same effect it had at the beginning, simply because just like hurricanes, the momentum diminishes in the third phase as you pass through it.
There are a couple of items of note that need to be brought up here. First, many have see pictures of, or heard stories of how a piece of straw was propelled through a tree or the side of a barn. In a freaking mess, you are not the tree or the barn, so quit standing there. If you do, you are going to get stuck with something that naturally doesn’t belong in you.
Second, most people who live along the coast being ravaged by a hurricane are more fearful of phase three than they are of phase one. Why? In phase three, the swell that comes on the back side of the hurricane floods all the inland property causing more damage than the winds and rain that they first experienced. In a freaking mess, this swell is known as “rampant emotions.” The calm in phase two seems to bring to most time of reflection which harkens back to the cause of phase one. The “blame game” kicks in and emotions now run at high tide proportions. As phase three kicks in, these emotions are being fanned by it, causing the emotions to rise even further. As phase three subsides, the carnage wrought from these emotions show their destructive force all along the shattered territory.
Now the audience gets to survey the wreckage and make commentary on its impact in their lives. Rarely will you be interviewed during this time since the audience is looking for the wounded and maimed. Survivors move on rather than stick around for the limelight. Your fifteen minutes of fame is still waiting for you to show up. So move on, you’ve got an appointment with destiny to keep.
A freaking mess is custom-designed for you. It’s purpose is to reveal either a character trait that needs altered; a skill set that is missing; or a level of knowledge to be attained. In theory, this all sounds great but in reality, ah yes, reality. . .
Reality in a freaking mess is like the insides of food processor: Great form until someone presses the button. So who pressed your button today? That mealy mass around you is the result of purpose missed. The first thing you learn in a freaking mess is to not allow anyone to push the button but you.
My kids, when they were younger, always loved to watch a food processor do its work. When they got old enough to use it themselves, I had to break them of the habit of watching the processor.“Don’t let it run. You want the food to be a certain size, not mush. When it get to the right size, shut it off.”
Once they encountered mush, it then became a game of playing with the button. Pulses created new rhythms while affording time to get a drink without affecting the food. More experience created certainty in how to finish the project quickly without a mess to deal with. In the end, theory became practical.
So you’ve got mush all around you because the button has been held down too long. Take your finger off. You have been focusing on the mess rather than the message. Time to learn how to use the pulse of the things around you. Go have a drink and relax. There is no need to hurry this. Your mess will wait.
I am not proposing that this day be created since it already exists. Really. However it’s not called International Freaking Mess Day. It is a solemn day around the globe for many people who commemorate each year the freaking messes that they, and their kin, have been involved in. This year, that day will be on Sunday, July 29th. Consider the following things that these people commemorate happening on this day.
- On this day, invaders broke into their house, leveled it, and sent them all packing to live in a foreign land.
- On this day, several centuries later when they had returned back to their homeland, foreign invaders again broke into their house, leveled it, and the surrounding city, and sent everyone off into the far reaches of the world.
- On this day, several centuries later, a war broke out that killed part of the families that lived in France and the Rhineland.
- On this day, several centuries later, the part of the family that went into England, was official booted out of the country.
- On this day, a few centuries later, the part of the family that lived in Spain was officially booted out of that country.
- On this day, World War I began, and caused unprecedented devastation to much of the family living in Europe.
- On this day, several years later, the family in Poland was deported to the concentration camp in Treblinka.
- Recently, on this day, the family was ordered to evacuate their homes in the Gaza Strip in order to give it to their neighbors.
In case you haven’t realized it yet, the family in question is the family of Israel. These events that I have described (and many more which you can read about on Wikipedia) all spread out over many centuries, actually all occurred on a date on the Jewish calendar called the Ninth of Av. Another term that has become recognized with this commemorative event is, “Dire Straits.” (No, not the rock group) Freaking weird, right?
So what’s important about the events on this day that you need to understand? Actually, it’s not so much the events, tragic as they have been, it is more about the honor that this day commemorates.
In a freaking mess, the last thing you want to do is bring up the memory of how you got there. But each year, the family of Israel stops all of their activities and looks back at every freaking mess that their ancestors have been through in order to honor them. Yes, not every one made it through the freaking mess, however those that did, stand on the shoulders of those that fought for them.
This Sunday, you’ve got an opportunity to honor those who came before you; those that faced their own freaking mess and made it through, or those whose shoulders you now stand upon. Tell them thanks. Your freaking mess can wait a day.
Every Freaking Mess is designed specifically for you. You are not to get out of the mess more than you are to go through the freaking mess. Your reward is at the end of the mess, not in trying to “get over it.”
If you have to ask what a freaking mess is, you’re only in a mess.
Drama. That’s what makes for a freaking mess. However zombies are not welcome.
That’s right, if you’re going to sit there drooling like the life has been sucked out of you or you’re going to try to suck the life out of someone else as they walk by you, then you are not welcome in the freaking mess, you zombie!
That might sound heartless, but zombies understand heartless, don’t you?
If you’ve been the victim of a freaking mess you understand that there comes a time when the shock of the events cause your mind to shut down. In essence, you become a zombie. The dilemma comes when you relish being on auto-pilot rather than the captain of a sinking ship.
Your biggest, most memorable moments in a freaking mess are when you stand proud and make a decision that knocks the wind out of the sails of all the nay-sayers. In those precious moments, life gets interesting and an air of excitement brings a new sense of accomplishment to the forefront.
That is not the description that zombies are known to “live” by. A zombie wants to live by sucking life. To them, life sucks. Sound familiar? Are you experiencing this feeling? You’re being turned into a zombie every time you repeat, “Life sucks!”
Look Buttercup, time to kick the zombie bs and move into destiny mode. So pick yourself up and make a move that doesn’t involve magnifying your pity party. It doesn’t have to be a humongous decision; you may just need to get up and brush your teeth, just do something different. Decide life over . . . you fill in the rest! Life is certainly worth more than the freaking mess. Suck in life rather than suck the life out of . . . you get the point, don’t you?