Monday, November 18, 2013
On Regret, Fear, Scarcity, and the Okayness of Being Okay
Telling regret to fuck off is the hardest thing I've ever done.
Coming in a close second was the time I put a dust ruffle on a king size bed by myself. No easy task, let me tell you.
But still king size bed solo dust ruffle installation, slightly easier than telling regret to fuck off.
My life was all about the regret.
I felt every choice I made was the wrong choice.
Making choices was painful no matter how inconsequential the subject. Just choosing the "right" word during a conversation was enough to make me want to weep.
So much pressure. Every exchange became painful. Talking to the cashier at the grocery store? Painful. I might say the wrong thing. Chit chat at a public gathering? Oh please, you obviously want me dead.
Everyday decisions were agonizing. What's for dinner? OH MY GOD!? How could you ask such a question?!
We could have spaghetti but so many carbs! We're all going to die!
What kind of soap to buy for the kids? The cheap stuff has bad chemicals! The good stuff is too expensive! OMG! The soap will ruin us financially or kill the children or BOTH!
This sort of thinking plagued every single aspect of my life.
So now I'm in a different place.
Yes, sometimes there are right and wrong answers: should you kick the dog? No. Never. Why? Because it would be mean to hurt a furry critter and only assholes do that kind of shit and being an asshole is morally wrong.
Should you smack a human idiot in the face? No. It may be tempting but hitting is wrong and also hitting a human idiot is illegal and not worth the fines or jail time.
Most of the time in our day to day lives, there are infinite choices and no choice is inherently better than another.
Spaghetti for dinner? Sure, just don't eat too much. Cheap soap or expensive? Get a grip. There are other options. Chill.
And if I say the wrong thing or stutter while chitchatting with folks, so? Laugh it off. It's okay.
When you let go of right/wrong, black/white, yes/no succeed/fail thinking, you can let go of a lot of guilt and regret.
Those absolute scenarios are at their root all about scarcity and fear; there isn't enough right to go around and someone is going to have to be wrong.
When you tell regret to fuck off, you free yourself and allow yourself to feel okay and at ease.
Despite what you may have been told, it's okay to feel okay.