The world makes sense when we’re children: There are good guys and bad guys; we run around and have adventures, trying to defeat as many bad guys as we can before recess ends, or someone yells, “Dinner!”
We seem to wish to always keep the world so predictably black and white. Yet in life it might be best to discover that there really are no bad guys.
There are only people.
Sometimes people do awful things, having intentions that can range from understandable to seemingly absurd.
Human behavior is both incredibly simple and amazingly complex.
What we do, we do for reasons; and those reasons can be based on accurate interpretations of true information, or not.
Having reasons for doing terrible things doesn’t make those things acceptable. It only makes labelling the person “bad” too simplistic, rigid, subjective…
Here’s something I wrote in September, 2014 (while high and more than a little fed up with myself):
“How dumb do I have to be to just keep giving myself up to this shit?
“I know what I should be doing. I can’t keep doing the same immature stuff anymore.
“Inability to make better choices = immaturity = the need to keep making myself dumber on purpose without acknowledging it to myself = the inhibiting effects of weed addiction.”
Weed addiction certainly seems to help me unconsciously act dumber than I am.
As I record and prepare to share my experience, I can’t help but see a host of values calling me onward from just beyond my current limitations and immaturities. Seeing what I’m keeping myself from makes it impossible for me to comfortably go on dumbing myself down.
Today I want to share some good news with you: Even when you find yourself giving in to your addictions, compulsions, or immature tendencies, you can still find good in those “bad” experiences—the ones you’ve told yourself you shouldn’t have.
What do I mean by that?
We humans tend to take comfort in thinking we know exactly how our lives should be. I’ve often been pleasantly surprised when life hasn’t proven to be so predictable.
What if even the quicksand you’re watching yourself sink into could harden like a cement ledge, enabling you to climb out?
The beautiful failure of that analogy is that the good you find amongst the bad actually does at least half of the climbing for you.
Here’s something I wrote in August, 2014 (while high):
“The unpredictability factor:
“After I started listening to relaxing music (to help me work), I noticed a new album from one of the ‘90s artists I’d been trying to wean myself off of.
“When I listened to that new album (after telling myself not to), I found pieces of ideas in the songs that tied so closely to my exact experience and motivations. It seemed too perfect to be a coincidence. That album inspired me to keep going on my journey toward maturity and change.
“I can’t count the number of times something I’ve told myself not to do has actually ended up helping me become the kind of person that wouldn’t do whatever it was.”
I suppose today’s moral is simply this: Don’t ever beat yourself up. There’s no point. Valuable aspects of the life you want can reach you from almost anywhere to help deliver you from every aspect of your current state.
I mean, I did write about half of this story while high at times I’d told myself not to be : )
There’s a humbling sweetness to finding good in unexpected places.
Have any of your worst experiences or biggest mistakes ever ultimately turned out to have been good for you? How?
Tomorrow: a closer look at why we beat ourselves up.