Two deeply intelligent discussion points about being a fuck-up!
One – Pleasing Others
The gorgeous Aretha Franklin died last week and during the replays of her finest memories, the scene from the diner in Blues Brothers came on.
Before Aretha bursts into song, she says to her saxophonist partner,
“You better think about the consequences of your actions!”,
…as he runs off to ‘Get the band back together’.
How many times in life do you have to decide about the consequences of your actions when you know you want to do something but the significant other is going to feel hurt?
All the time.
The actions I take, have two consequences – the impact on me and the impact on the ‘World not me’.
The ‘World not me’ is the clumsy phrase I am saying is all the people, critters, plants, and inorganic substances that are affected by my actions.
For some of us, this bind about ‘what is the right thing to do’ keeps us paralyzed to some degree or another. It can even be the genesis of psychosis and addiction.
Mostly it’s just a pain in the arse.
All of you that are familiar with the authors writing will be aware that I am an addict of the alcoholic sub-branch.
Living the first 45 years under the seemingly inescapable prison of my addiction, I manifested many common traits of the suffering alcoholic, unbeknownst to moi!
However, it’s the difficulty of most addicts, in my observation, that learning to live with yourself as a sober person is one of the most difficult things about recovery.
The habits and characteristics which we used to drown in ethyl alcohol, are now exposed and obvious, without the anesthetic.
Both the ‘world not me’ and Me have to live with ‘It’ and the consequences.
We have to cope with ’It’ – whatever ‘It’ is.
Here are some examples of my ‘It’-
- Perfectionism – has many faces but generally means that whatever is done is not good enough
- Righteousness– You can even be wrong and righteous at the same time!
- Victiming – (you can tell I’m not a trained Psychologists) Playing ‘Poor Me”
- Rescuing – The constant pursuit of Damsels in Distress
- Laziness – “What’s the fuckin’ point”
- Eating – If all else fails, look in the fridge.
All of this could be attributed to lack of self-worth and the consequences of pleasing others to gain some ‘worth’. (BTW, Dr. Berni Sewell has a fantastic website about this shit)
Two – Mustaking
Timber Hawkeye, in the Buddhist Boot Camp, introduced me to the glorious word ‘Mustaking’.
It sensationally combines the act of making mistakes, as we all do, with the concept of karma. Must-take.
The idea I guess of Mustaking is that the error that I made, had to be made in order for me to learn that which I had to learn.
I either make the right choice and prosper or make an error and learn. This is not new apparently – it’s only revelationary to me, I think. Are you excited too?
I don’t know much about Venerable Hawkeye but I believe he deserves the Nobel Prize for The Bleeding Obvious.
How did I live my life so bound up to “What-to-do-next-to-make-everyone-happy bullshit?
Well, all my attempts at comedy aside, the poignant point I believe is that addicts (and let’s admit, isn’t that all of us?) are out of tune with the reality of what is, and what is important.
But it’s not our fault.
Our society has devolved into commercialism and consumerism so quickly and deeply that we Homo Sapiens haven’t had a proper amount of ‘time to adjust.
Our parents were erroneous because their parents were erroneous. Most ‘Boomers’ had very little to guide us into parenthood except Dr. Spock and a myriad of new scientists in the burgeoning field of Human Potential.
My poor firstborn, Adam, had to have flashcards and NLP inspired Baroque music playing at beta levels when he was still in the womb!
The point I’m learning today is to ease up!
I am Worth, says Dr. Sewell, and I am believing her. Have you ever looked at a one-year-old girl in a pretty dress and told her, “You’re so fat you even make that dress look awful!” No.
But we do it to ourselves. That little girl with no University qualifications, no money, and no fancy house has more worth than you, Yeah? Well, no actually.
We are all made up of the same stuff.
We are all worth – we are all worth the same. (That goes for Ibis’s, too)
So, today, have a holiday from beating yourself up. Your mistakes were done for a good reason – you need to evolve, learn, and grow.
The last 200 years of capitalism and scientific discovery has left us Homo Sapiens a little unappreciated. We invented Limited Liability Corporations, so let’s give ourselves a little leeway when it comes to being right all the time.
I’m making a pact with myself today to recognize my Worth and to appreciate that errors are just a way to learn. Done!
If you like the feel of this article and are thinking you would like to give sobriety a go, try my FREE 5 part course, “Stop Drinking – Start Living”. and look for our podcast Happy Sober & Frickin Awesome in your fave podcast thingy.