Mr. Monk and living up to an image

 

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One of the few things I watch regularly from the world of TV is Mr. Monk.

And one of the recurrent themes is his desire to be reinstated as a police officer, and repeatedly failing.

It is a good reminder of something most of us do:

He wants to attain an image, fails and despair, and overlooks what he already has.

As an independent consultant, he has most of what he would have as a police officer. He works with his old colleagues, he gets to use his skills, his work is appreciated, he is well liked, he is paid. And in addition, he has a freedom and independence he would not have as a regular police officer.

[Update: The script writes let Monk discover this for himself in the third-to-last episode, Mr. Monk and the Badge. ]

How often do I do the same? When do I try to attain an image, fail, and despair, overlooking what I already have?

Quite often, and quite often in small ways throughout the day. I have an image of something I don’t have but want. I have an image of losing something I have and enjoy. I have an image of continuing to have something I don’t want. And in each case, attention goes to the image, I experience a tinge of discomfort, and my thoughts are fueled and support this story.

It is easy to overlook that I may already have much of what I wished I had. Or that I may have something that is, in many ways, even better. Or at least that I honestly don’t know if I would be happier if I had what I want.

Of course, wanting is essential for life. It is part of the richness of life, and we couldn’t function without it. We compare images of what is here with images of what could be, we make choices, and we act on them. It is what beings do.

But there is a difference between taking these images as substantial and real, getting caught up in beliefs and discomfort, and acting from a sense of lack and compulsion, and recognizing these as merely images, as useful guides at most, and acting from more clarity. And that difference is discomfort. The difference is our own discomfort, and also the discomfort we tend to trigger in others when we act from compulsion.

There is nothing wrong in that discomfort either, of course. It is just feedback. Life telling us to take a closer look at what we are doing.

………………
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draft…

One of the few things I try to catch on TV (although I watch it online) is Mr. Monk. And as anything is a mirror, so is he.

For instance, one of his goals is to be reinstated as a police officer, but he keeps being rejected. He does not recognize that he already has what he hopes to get through that position – he works as a consultant with the police department, he works with the same people he would as a police officer, and he gets paid for doing what he is best at. In addition, as independent consultant he has an independence that he wouldn’t have as a police officer.

So it is for most of us. We (think we) want something, but what we really want is the image – usually an image our culture tells us we should live up to. And in the process, it is easy to overlook what we already have. We may already have what we hope to get through a certain position, or something better.

As so much else, it can sound obvious and even banal. It is what any grandma, good friend, pop-psychology book, or astrology column will tell us.

And where it gets juicy is when it is applied to our own life, in an honest and specific way.

What are some of the images I seek? Well, anything I seek is really an image. Images is all I seek. Nothing wrong with that, but good to notice. In my daily life, I image how things would be better if it was different, including with small things such as a change in weather or a meal.

What happens when I get caught up in a “should” around the image? When I think and feel that I should have it, or it shouldn’t be here, or shouldn’t go away? What do I fear would happen if I didn’t have that image and the should?

Who would I be without it? Who would I be without it, in the situations that usually triggers it?

What is the validity in its turnarounds? Is it true it is not already here? What are the gifts in its opposites?

Finding more clarity around these images and stories, I may still act to get or avoid what they refer to – it is often the wise or kind thing to do. But it may be coming from a quite different place. Where it used to come from compulsion, it now comes from more clarity.

…………..

outline….

  • images
    • wants to be reinstated
    • but have what is will practically bring him + more independence
    • so mostly/all image, want to live up to an image

Anything is a mirror, and so also TV series. For instance, Mr. Monk’s

……………

One of the few things I watch on TV (although I watch it online) is Mr. Monk. And as anything is a mirror, so is he.

For instance, one of his goals is to be reinstated as a police officers, but he keeps being rejected. He does not recognize that he already has what he hopes to get through that position – he works as a consultant with the police department, he works with the same people he would as a police officer, and he gets paid for doing what he is best at. In addition, as independent consultant he has an independence that he wouldn’t have as a police officer.

So it is for most of us. We (think we) want something, but what we really want is the image – usually an image our culture tells us we should live up to. And in the process, it is easy to overlook what we already have. We may already have what we hope to get through a certain position, or something better.

As so much else, it can sound obvious and even banal. It is what any grandma, good friend, pop-psychology book, or astrology column will tell us.

And as much else, it still gets juicy when it is applied to our own life.

What are some of the images I seek? Well, anything I seek is really an image. Images is all I seek. Nothing wrong with that, but good to notice. In my daily life, I image how things would be better if it was different, including with small things such as a change in weather or a meal.

What happens when I get caught up in a “should” around the image? When I think and feel that I should have it, or it shouldn’t be here, or shouldn’t go away? What do I fear would happen if I didn’t have that image and the should?

Who would I be without it? Who would I be without it, in the situations that usually triggers it?

What is the validity in its turnarounds? Is it true it is not already here? What are the gifts in its opposite?

Finding more clarity around it, I may still act to get or avoid it in daily life – it is often the wise or kind thing to do. But it may be coming from a quite different place. Where it used to come from compulsion, it now comes from more clarity.

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