Don’t wish, don’t start…wishing only wounds the heart (“I’m not that girl” – Wicked)
How often it is, that when we seek answers, we are left only with more questions. Maybe it’s not so much that the questions weren’t there to begin with, but that you were not willing to acknowledge their existence out of fear. Socrates taught us that the unexamined life is not worth living. If we don’t question the uncertainties in our lives, can we ever move forward? And if we do question them, how can we ever prepare ourselves for the answers we don’t want to hear…?
Never assume. Don’t hope or expect something (or someone) to turn your life around, because when it does turn–it could be in the opposite direction from where you thought you were headed. It breaks my heart to write this, because I see how cynical I have become overnight. Maybe I am in a rut and next week my philosophy will have changed drastically…but this is what I have come to learn:
Trying to act unselfishly forces you to let your guard down. With every benevolent act, or part of yourself that you give to something else–you open another piece of your heart. Sometimes, it is in small increments, and you don’t notice how vulnerable you have become until it’s too late. Hope is what shields you–helps to convince yourself (oftentimes irrationally) that everything will work out for the best if your intentions are true. But life is not dictated by fairness or justice. Having faith doesn’t protect you from disappointment. And unfortunately, the more hope you have in something to begin with–the more there is to be shattered when you learn that it was all in vain.
Vanity is a dangerous, dangerous quality. Convincing yourself that your choices in actions were self-less…and taking pride in performance of said actions– completely defeats the purpose. And the revelation that when it comes down to it–you are just as egotistical as the people you condemn, becomes a volatile catalyst to a downpour of shame and self-loathing.
Self-loathing, combined with the utter lack of control you feel when everything you thought you understood is confounded–makes the option of giving up completely so much more attractive.
Which leads me to yet another question (and we see how the vicious cycle is perpetuated)…
Is giving up the ultimate act of selfishness, or altruism?
That is– to give up something you have been fighting, wishing, yearning for… because it seems unavailing …can be characterized as weakness.
But, is it more prideful to hang on to something which you know is fruitless–and not letting go of will cause people other than yourself the degree of pain which you, in your greed–are trying to avoid?
And then, if you decide to take the higher road, and give up that which you want most, how do you reconcile yourself with the knowledge that all you are left with is that fragile sense of integrity?
Is giving up anything to protect those you care about worth losing them in the process?
And there you are being egomaniacal once more. Revealing your muted God-complex and the tendency to assume that you have such control over decisions, when in reality…all you can do is wait in limbo for the ebb and flow of circumstance or outside influence to slap you awake from frivolous day dreams.
So, I suppose when it comes down to it–the only thing you really have control over is yourself. The only choices you can make are how you will live your life, in spite of the uncontrollable factors and curveballs that are thrown towards you; How you will react to those unplanned changes–and most importantly…what you will learn from them. You decide for yourself whether or not you are strong enough to keep hoping, keep wishing, keep dreaming–knowing that nothing in this life is guaranteed. And you keep breathing.
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.
Saint Francis de Sales