Your Turn Challenge prompt: “Teach us something that you do well.”
In my life, I’ve had a lot of experience with crazy. Crazy takes all forms: mental illness, personality disorders, neurosis, idiot compassion, poverty mentality, confusion, greed, obsession, addiction, victimhood, aggression, etc.
Through my experience, I’ve learned that there are only four ways to deal with crazy.
1. Agree with it. No matter how out there the logic or argument or plan, you agree with it. You go along, you help, you support it. You say things like “oh yeah” and “you’re right” a lot, and otherwise you say nothing. The problem with this approach is that it requires you to be crazy too.
2. Disagree with it. When something seems crazy, you say so. You say “no.” You contradict, you argue, you refuse, you reject and resist. You look crazy right in the face and say “that’s crazy.” The problem with this approach is that you become the target of crazy. You make crazy mad and now crazy wants to hurt you.
3. Avoid it. You see it for what it is, crazy and harmful, and you want nothing to do with it, ever. You get as far away as you can. You stay out of its way. You do not engage crazy. There is no interaction, no connection. The problem with this approach is that sometimes you are related to crazy or crazy is involved with someone you love, so opting out isn’t so easy. The other problem with this approach is that there’s really no avoiding crazy — it’s everywhere.
4. Compassionate engagement. This is the most difficult one of all. It requires you to be fully present with crazy without judgement, neither agreement or disagreement. Staying present, connecting with your own innate wisdom, you drop your agenda and give your attention to whatever might arise. With wisdom and compassion, moment to moment, you determine how to respond. If you are unsafe, you leave. If you can help, you do. You keep your heart open but you don’t allow crazy to infect you. The problem with this approach is that it requires you to be present with every moment, to adapt to the way things shift and change. It’s not easy.