I have been a do-gooder all my life. Always wanting the best, the ideal. Not materially, but spiritually. I revel in good deeds, in participating in a successful endeavor that will do no less than change the world. The next right thing is my mantra. Joy is being useful, helping people. I want to do good and seek out the good in others. I want to be the first to catch a glimpse see it, coerce it out if it’s latent. Maybe this is why I am a teacher.
Lately, I have been experiencing something strange – a confusion, a dizzying mental drag causing me to sway in my belief in humankind. It’s as debilitating as the vertigo I used to occasionally suffer, but again, it’s spiritual and emotional. A doctor once explained vertigo to me as a brain’s confusion between reality and its perception of reality. If the muscles in my neck are too tense and a breeze caresses them in just the right way, my brain will believe that I am falling although I am simply standing or sitting.
Emotional vertigo, I posit, is the confusion in my brain that arises when my ideals are brushed by even the lightest hushed wind of a disappointing human reality. When my expectations of something or someone I’ve idealized are met with non-ideal reality, my emotions swoon inside. My elbows tingle, I mix up words as I try to speak, I weep without direct cause.
The cure for physical vertigo that has worked for me is to stretch my neck and to ice those muscles. I am still seeking the cure for ’emotigo’ – I know that the disillusionment will not last. Reality may not be ideal, but it’s not bad either – somehow to stretch my mental muscles and reset back to reality. Perhaps vacation will do the trick.