passions, psychobabble

My Termite Analogy

Termites_1The termite control company came last Wednesday. They have a contract with the landlord to do a check for termite infestation in the apartment compound every 6 months. As it turned out, my door frame was already hollow in some hard-to-detect areas plus the ceiling in my bedroom was waiting to fall down any day. So as they sprayed away in the units and around the compound, us tenants didn’t have much choice but to get out and stay out for the next 4 hours. Without much to do, my mind began to wander within the first 30 minutes that we were outside.

I thought about how I never miss a day of the week in cleaning up my apartment. I thought about how I would scrub, shine, and wipe at the slightest hint of dust. I remembered how I always tried to avoid a further mismatch in the interior’s color scheme (shades of green and beige). My apartment is not like those on the Pure Contemporary site (not even close to those on the pages of Real Living!), but I’m one of the OC types you would often see in movies, who move vases and frames some scant millimeters from their original “not right” positions to create the “perfect” angle that merits our approval.

And then shaking my head in disbelief, I chuckled to myself as I realized that underneath my scrupulous color-coding and ministrations–my cleaning and disinfecting paraphernalia and scented oils and candles–my ceiling could have fallen off while I was sleeping! It’s sad. (It’s the substance tragedies are made of, like the remorse we feel when we get news about the life of someone young, promising, kind-hearted, smart [uh-huh], beautiful [uh-oh] and fabulous [oh geez] gets snuffed out senselessly.)

Seriously, I let my mind go further bravely into awareness that some of us are like that with our lives. We aspire for perfection in what the eyes expect to see. We buy clothes and go to places that will show the world The Best Us. Sometimes we get too caught up in reflecting the good that we forget to check the motives behind it. Rarely do we realize that oftentimes we just want to appear like we’re better people—we got the highest offer, we have a better-planned life path, we scored highest in the most difficult test, and at some point some of us even act as if God gave them the clearer vision. Sometimes we know only how to clean up and fix people around us, but fail to see or recognize that we are in danger of becoming hollow inside . . . that our ceiling of truth is ready to fall off, because the foundations have already been eaten away by an entire colony of perfectionism and self-righteousness.

Have you thought about that lately? Or do you say I have inhaled too much termiticide?

Posted on Multiply, 28 August 2007

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