Everybody gets hurt.
One hurt does not mean that you stop progressing, but it sometimes leads people to move to actions that will keep them from feeling that same hurt again and again.
I saw this quote online earlier, and it registered with me pretty deeply.
The older that I get, the more I understand that life isn’t so much about what happens to you, but how you react to the things that happen to you. The power is then, checking how you react to something, and how you learn from it/move forward from it. It sounds like it’d be a simple thing, but I’m really checking myself lately on how this works out in real life. There’s that old cliche about lemons being given and lemonade being made.
Seriously though, I think there is something to be said about the fact that we try to come up with coping mechanisms for things, and those coping mechanisms work for a season or two in our lives, but there is a point after which, these things become nothing more than a crutch for behavior(s) that we’ve become accustomed to and are too comfortable with to manage in any other way.
I am not the king of the silly self-imposed rule, but I am somewhere in the high court of the silly self-imposed rule kingdom. Of course, some of these rules that I follow are not silly, and some of them just need to be re-examined as relics of a previous iteration of myself that could be given a makeover. One example of such a thing is my “No dancing in public” rule. At one time in my life, this was actually a requirement of me, as a member of a Christian fraternity, but I have clung to such things because it keeps me from making a fool of myself in front of people in dancing situations.(I’m not a horrible dancer, but not all of us are MJ ok?) I’m sure there’s not that much wrong with cutting a rug in public (I’m actually told that it’s fun), but it’s something that I haven’t wanted to let go. I fear that the time for the death of that rule is upon me, based on a semi-recent conversation I had with Iona and Helene… (Yup, I just called y’all out in a blog!)
The face of the: “don’t hold yourself back so much” movement, for me, has been my friend Laura. She really pushes me to just question the motives behind my actions (or non-actions), and encourages me to rage against that machine. (I think I just became a robot in my mind? Not quite sure on that one.) I have appreciated being able to take a step back sometimes, and really think about where some of these things come from, and how they can affect my current or future happiness, without any real reason or logic.
The fun thing is to now see how many of those rules, when destroyed, invite others to get to know me in ways that they might not have previously. This can be a tool for infinitely more true connections with others, or deepening existing connections with people. This, being the 11th anniversary of my 21st birthday, seems like a really good time to try out something new.