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  • Sherise Schlaht

COVERT COMMODITIES

This #thoughtfultuesday evolved from an experience that I have been sitting on over the past week. I acknowledge that I am not completely at peace with it, as I am easily activated when I reflect and attempt to process. This is indicative that I am still hooked. What better way than to explore it via writing?

In light of my experience, I am reminded of the importance of trusting and remaining in our own gut/belly. Everyone encounters mass bombardment of thoughts, feelings, ideas, images, etc. on the daily. In a world of immeasurable stimulation, how does one decipher what does and does not fit? Hands down, the most crucial factor in this deciphering lies in our connection to our internal compass. For me, this resides not in my mind or my heart, but in my core. It is as if my core is plugged into existence. When I am highly attuned and connected, I am met with concise messages. Countless times, I have betrayed or belittled these deep knowings. In fact, the majority of the major challenges I have encountered in my years have been a direct result of self-betrayal. I would love to say that I am attuned to these powerful intuitive knowings when they are needed in the moment, but this is untrue. Typically, at the time of occurrence, these messages appear subtle; a feeling of uneasiness, confusion, or tearfulness. Oprah refers to these as “whispers.” Only through countless painful encounters and deep personal work do we discover the necessity of paying attention to these whispers.

I have witnessed that the more self-work I engage in, the less I know. It is apparent that the seeking journey goes on and on; if it is not this issue or challenge, it will be another. The reason I note this is relevant to my experience last week. As I have mentioned in other posts, I am single and periodically give in to the temptation of finding a significant other. I matched with someone online, whose profile seemed to align with my beliefs and visions. Long story short, we met for coffee and we were flowing along. Our conversation moved beyond surface and was fueled by intensity, which seemed to be natural for both. I can recall thinking that it was so refreshing to connect with someone who could hold his own amidst the intensity. All too quickly, there was a shift and out came the recruitment speech. I could feel my heart sink into the pit of my stomach. The whispers began. Confusion is the most fitting word to describe my state in that moment. What happens when I am confused and cannot rationalize what is happening? I cry. So, out poured the tears as I sat in front of this stranger.

To you as the reader, it may sound like a rather innocent misunderstanding. It is important to point out that I am highly attuned and sensitive to deception, meaning my threshold for it is nil. Here is what was wrong with this situation: I went into this coffee with the expectation of connecting with another human being. I did not have any conditions on it being romantic or not. The other individual entered this connection with an agenda. This realization hit me like a sack of bricks. I was flooded with many emotions at this conceptualization; anger, sadness, disgust, betrayal, hatred… you name it. Prior to this meeting, I had asked this individual about his career, which likely was strategically avoided.

Let me tell you, it feels like a fall from a fifty-foot cliff when you move from the flow of connection to realizing you’ve been duped. Since then, much awakening has taken place, brought to you by my handy sidekick, rage. I now fully understand the stereotype of the weasel salesman; don’t be fooled by his charm and pearly whites. To this kind of salesperson, you are no longer valued as a human, but rather a commodity. Your worth is tied to what your “relationship” brings this individual; if you cannot benefit this person and help him/her reach their next target or goal, you are as good as chopped liver.

Of course, my reflection of this scenario did not end here. What did this all mean on a core level? An extra layer of yuckiness is explained by the fact that the salesperson is subconsciously (or perhaps quite consciously) judging my life as lesser than theirs. In his/her illusory existence, my life, which it happens they know very little about, can be magically improved by the purchasing of said product or joining said company. If I decide to purchase or join, I am reinforcing their belief and/or judgement that I am lesser than. This lends itself to the justification of continuing this sales paradigm sealed by the illusion that they are “helping people.”

It can be said that this is the foundation of any and all forms of business. Business is predicated on the fact that we are not enough and there is some external solution that someone or something else offers. To a certain degree, this is true and cannot be avoided. However, there are ways to conduct business with transparency and integrity. Although this extends beyond business, it is integral for businesspeople to be forthcoming in their intentions from the onset. If I am confused or unable to make sense of your intentions, they are not clear. To enter a business arrangement, there must be agreeance from both sides, but not before intentions have been clearly stated and accepted. In the maintenance of this arrangement, a working relationship only operates effectively if there exists open communication and honest feedback in both directions.

The bottom line here is: people are not commodities. If this is believed, we might as well all prepare ourselves for a repeat of slavery and/or mass genocide. If you are unable to develop and maintain authentic relationships without a business proposition or sales pitch, please check yourself. To those that have been tempted by the lure and promise of a miraculous solution, know that you are whole, and you are enough. All that is needed is available to you and can be found by looking inwards. Regardless of your view of struggle, there is no way to bypass it. As the old cliché says, “If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.” I part you with the wise words of my mentor (read this with zest and vigor), “If you don’t like what I am up to, then you can f*ck right off.”


Sublimely,


Sherise

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