“The air will always be too filled with something. Your body too sore or tired. Your father too drunk. Your wife too cold. You will always have some excuse not to live your life.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk.
“Picture a tumbler used to polish rocks. A rolling drum filled with water and sand. Consider that your soul is dropped in as an ugly rock, some raw material or a natural resource, crude oil, mineral ore. And all conflict and pain is just the abrasive that rubs us, polishes our souls, refines us, teaches and finishes us over lifetime and lifetime. The consider that you’ve chosen to jump in again and again, knowing this suffering is your entire reason for coming to earth.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk.
Interesting image. I recall hearing one similar back when I was a good little Christian girl…that God/Jesus would “refine us in the fire” or that we were stones, and God/Jesus was the river, flowing past us, day after day, smoothing out our rough edges.
I’ve been devouring Chuck Palahniuk’s books over the last couple of days. I find them brilliant. His writing style is very easy to read, and his subject matter is compelling. He captures things, and makes me think, and I LOVE when writers are able to do that.
These quotes are from his book “Haunted.” Its the third book of his that I’ve started reading in a 24 hour period. They both sparked something in me when I read them that I thought was worth investigating.
So we know that if life was easy it would be boring. I’m a big fan of that theory…those who know me also know that recently, I’ve been saying “I’ll take boring! I’ll take boring! Just for a while! Give me boring!!”
But when I look at things that have been happening in my life recently, and over the years…honestly, first and foremost, it could ALWAYS be worse. And these events have helped to shape me into the person that I am right now. How I handle these situations, how I react…they shape me, over and over, lifetime after lifetime.
Over the last 2 days, I’ve hit a rough patch. The problem is…I’ve been beating myself up over my initial reaction to things, and THAT’S why things have been tense for me. That is a pattern that I am having a huge problem breaking.
For example: Let’s say, that a friend said that they would think about maybe going out with me tonight. No promise was made, no definite answer given. So when I wake up this morning, and see that this friend was out late last night, I become upset, and think “Well, I just don’t matter enough, because now you’ll be too tired to go out with me tonight.” Which is LUDICROUS for me to think. I know for a FACT that this person cares about me, and that I matter a lot more than most…just in the fact that this person has put up with me for so long. 😉
So, practically immediately after this thought comes into my head, I tell myself “Now, you’re just being silly. Of course you matter. HELLO!! Something probably came up. No need to get upset.”
Good? Yes. Mature? Yes. Feel something, acknowledge it. In this case, correct yourself, because your thinking and reasoning is WAY off. Move on.
Ah, there’s the rub. The moving on. Rather than moving on with my morning, I proceed to beat myself up over my initial reaction. “You shouldn’t react that way. You know better. You know you matter. You’re so stupid. What the hell are you thinking? You have no right to get upset over that kind of thing.” Yes. This is a pretty close transcript of the conversation I had with myself this morning.
But why? Why do I beat myself up? Because I feel that I should be doing better by now. I feel that after years of proof that I do matter to people, that I wouldn’t have that knee jerk reaction of “You just don’t care.” I shouldn’t have that reaction. And it REALLY bothers me that I continue to struggle with this.
I know that it is all, of course, conditioning. I realize that the more I work on it, the easier it will be to stop that reaction. Hell, even this morning’s reaction was better than previously. Before, I would have sat and wallowed in the “I don’t matter” thought pattern, rather than doing what I did this morning.
What I really need to work on now is being more gentle with myself when I discover that I’ve had a thought/idea that is incorrect. I can’t continue to beat up and abuse myself over these things. I’m just human. Its going to happen. The best that I can do right now is to redirect my thoughts somewhere else. Focus on the positivity that came from the situation.
For example, for the rest of today, rather than continuing to berate myself for being upset initially, I’m going to congratulate myself for moving on with the thought process. And I’m not going to beat myself up for beating myself up. 😉
Its the self abuse that continues to hold me back…I have these wonderful breakthroughs, these inspired thoughts and realizations…and I don’t dwell on them enough. But I make ONE little mistake, and I can dwell on that for DAYS. Weeks even. That behavior needs to stop, and I know that the only way I’m going to stop it is to be gentle with myself. (See Terre? I listened!)
It all boils down to this: I want to live my life. I want to live in bliss: supreme happiness, utter joy or contentment. I want to be more than just mediocre about my life. I don’t want to waste any of the short amount of time I have left on this rock. Whether that short amount of time is 2 days or 100 more years…time is fleeting. Life is short.
I don’t want to waste a day beating myself up about being upset, when I could have spent that time content in the fact that people find me wise. That my words, my problems that I struggle with…these blogs, my facebook posts (well, not all of them, obviously, but the more poignant ones) speak to people about their own lives.
Few people know this about me, but wisdom is something that I’ve always desired. Its been a sought after “prize” of sorts for me. A few days ago, I wrote about my GrinGran. SHE was a wise woman. She had her shit together. She understood about life. I want to be like her, and have wanted to be like her since I was small.
It brings tears of joy to my eyes to know that I’m getting there. That I’ve attained even a granule of the wisdom that she had.
As a side note…this is not coming from my own opinion of myself. I actually had a friend tell me yesterday that I am “so wise.”
I’m done with excuses. Do I think that I’m going to be perfect? Of course not. No one is. But I am going to stop making excuses. There is no excuse for not living. Even as cynical as I’ve been recently, as jaded as I can be sometimes…wondering what is the point of our existence on this planet… wondering if this is all there is…all things considered…there is still no excuse for not living your life to the fullest. Especially once you’ve hit the “what’s the point” stage. I’ll admit, I’ve been there for some time now.
“What’s the point?” Scary words. I hadn’t admitted this to anyone, because, being the way that I am, I didn’t want to worry anyone. I’m not so selfish that I would ever harm myself, or take my own life. I could never do that…permanent solution to a temporary problem….things are NEVER that bad, as bad as they can feel….they are NEVER that bad.
But jaded me has been wondering lately…what is the point? If there’s no god, no heaven, no hell….if there is a god and I’m damned, if there is a god and I’m not…I just don’t see what the point is.
Well, I understand the point. Perhaps its a moment of clarity…perhaps it will escape me once more, leaving me to find the point again and again, lifetime after lifetime.
At this moment, the point is this: Live. Live, and find your bliss. Live and love. Experience. Grow. Change. Find beauty in everything, and everyone. Stop making excuses. Above all, though, right now…Live.
I don’t want my life to be filled with excuses. I want it to be full of experiences: good and bad. Hard and easy. Exciting and boring. No more excuses. And maybe, just maybe, at the end of it all…100 years from now as I breathe my last breath…perhaps I will no longer be an ugly rock, but a beautiful, smooth stone…