What’s the best time to write a blog post? The moment something comes up. “Regrets” is a VERY common theme for me, unfortunately. I’d love to say I know how to act my age and things are generally low-key and quite simple with me, but I’d be lying if I tried to pull that off. I’ve made mistakes…more times than I care to admit…but the worst ones are the ones I don’t realize I’ve made until they’re too late. How many times can I screw things up? Sadly more times than I can count…and it’s not because I’m not able to count to high numbers!
Every time I make a stupid mistake I go back to my favorite generalized shaming method…angry self-talk. It goes something like this: “You’re an adult, your 36 f*ing years old…how could you do X, Y and Z???!!” It’s much easier for me to be on the receiving end of someone else’s crazy and wild moments because I (fortunately/unfortunately) have a LOT of empathy…but when it’s my own and it’s up to others to forgive me, that’s a completely different story. What do you do when you’ve done something wrong (even if you don’t know exactly what and how bad it is…maybe you were in a blackout?) and you’re just getting over the LAST episode of stupidity? How much patience and love are people going to have for you if you keep screwing up?
Fortunately for me, my family loves me no matter what…that’s a blessing I can’t deny and consider no small thing. Even when I’ve put them through the ringer…and I’m absolutely certain they have more reason to dislike me than to love me…they still somehow find a way. But for others, I can’t always count on that same kind of loyalty.
It’s not like I’m going out of my way to be an idiot. It just comes naturally to some of us. Most of the time I’m perfectly respectable and lovely…but then there’s others where I’m not so amazing. We’re all like that right? I try to comfort myself with thoughts like these but somehow in moments like now, it doesn’t seem so “normal”. There’s one common link…and sadly it’s me. I don’t feel sad about it, but how do you keep people in your life when you’re accidentally screwing things up some…or much of the time?
As you might imagine, I find myself apologizing…a LOT. Sometimes it becomes so frequent that the apologies themselves become more annoying than the behavior I’m trying to have forgiven. Where’s the line? Obviously if I could just stop doing stupid things, this would be ideal…but we don’t live in an ideal world and I know myself well enough to know I’m going to continue making mistakes from time to time…so how do we learn to forgive ourselves, especially when you can’t control others and their willingness to forgive you?
Again, I wish I was writing this post metaphorically or about someone else’s condition in life because I could tell you exactly how I deal with this sort of people…but when it’s you…it somehow seems much harder.
I’ve been trying to learn what it means to really love myself…and again, to some maybe that’s a crazy concept…but sadly, I don’t think it’s so foreign to everyone. How can we survive in the world knowing we can’t control or change another human being (let alone lots of them) and don’t even know how to control and love ourselves? What do you do? How do you change the way you look internally?
In the most harrowing moments, I finally relinquish control altogether. How is it possible to do anything at this point? Something about letting go actually seems to make things better. It seems counterintuitive being out of control and letting go to make things heal again…but once things are done, they’re out of your hands so what other options do you have? Not many…and certainly not any good ones.
The idea of “control” is the greatest deception ever known to mankind. To believe we have or have EVER had control of anything other than our own attitude is a completely insane theory. People and nations have tried, over time, to gain control or access to empower themselves over others…but it’s always fleeting. Even when we think we have it (as parents, teachers, governments, etc) we’re always wrong. If we truly had it, we wouldn’t have to try to force it…convince it…or make it happen. True and absolute power comes not through manipulation of events and actions but through relinquishment of those things which are not ours to decide…the thoughts and views of others.
“By letting it go it all get’s done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
I’m not sure wiser words have ever been spoken…certainly not regarding this matter. This is the eternal struggle I deal with inside…the yin and yang between letting go and trying. It seems the more I try, the more I fail…but somehow when I let go and stop trying to make things happen, they come together and heal themselves.
All of this said, I’m happy to atone for my mistakes and do what I can to right my wrongs…but when it’s beyond your ability to change events of the future what else are your options? This is it. Do what you can but in the end, you’ll need to let it go and let it be what it IS. It may not be (or end up) exactly like you want, but each situation is a lesson learned and hopefully a new start.
Moral of the Story: At the end of the day, you’re the only one who you can control…but the only aspects you can regulate are your own attitude and the way you choose to feel about yourself (and others). Anything else is completely fruitless. When you’re given the option to choose forgiveness or self-hatred, always choose the way of love…because the only REAL value in life is how much love we’re willing to give ourselves. When we know how to do this…completely and unconditionally…we won’t stop making mistakes but we can stop hurting ourselves because of our own humanities. After all, this life is meant to be a learning process. If we were perfect I’m not so sure things would be so significantly different except that we would always feel loved.