For there is a learning formula and yet no commensurate method for unlearning the things we want to unlearn. Tragically, it’s trivially easy to unlearn that which we want to maintain (foreign language, musical ability, fitness, etc.). But the stuff that haunts us, the stuff we desperately wish to forget? Good luck.
Upon enduring radical change, particularly the negative variety, it’s natural to long for the way things were. With time, though, “radical” transforms into the new status quo; it’s simply unsustainable to indefinitely maintain a high-stress state – a defining characteristic of transitory periods. For better or worse, acceptance inevitably washes over us, which helps power our near unlimited capacity for adaptation.
The kind-hearted folk proffering this advice must not be comprehending what weakness is, confusing it for honesty, vulnerability, or “asking for help.”
Weakness is the inner voice urging you to be less than. To varying degrees, everyone will give in from time to time. But make no mistake, this act is never one to be encouraged since surrender increases the voice’s potency. If you capitulate too often, weakness’ power climaxes through silence; the once associated shame, guilt, and negotiations are no longer there to remind you that another way exists.
That other way is strength. It rarely offers superior hedonistic rewards, but in matters people claim to value most in life, strength is undefeated. Omnipotent it is not, though, for weakness never completely disappears. The best one can do is repeatedly win the daily battles by charging into challenge (a.k.a. the stuff weakness tells you not to do) and away from guilt (a.k.a. the stuff weakness tells you to do).
honest, ugly feelings. Of course you don’t want to possess those feelings, and so stating your privilege is a wishful attempt to exorcise them. The hope is that by saying aloud I’m so lucky, reason will overwhelm Why do I want so much and remain so selfish when I already have so much?
you don’t want others to share it since greater universality would ruin your specialness.
If your weakness is unlinked to your identity, you want others to share it so you aren’t alone.
the easiest, most natural assumption is that something is off in that someone – even if that someone exhibits a preferable response.
who are tweaking anything (and everything) related to their bodies.
The first: those coveting weight loss. This is the largest contingent and the reason why damn near all health writing is geared toward weight loss.
The second: those trying to perfect themselves just ’cause. Some get off maximizing their minds, some get off maximizing their bodies. Both are worthy undertakings.
The third: those aiming to correct some underlying issue(s) unrelated to weight. This group is often mistaken for the second, even as there are far more participants in this one. Thus, if you observe some ostensibly fit person measuring out iron/phosphate ratios and organizing bags of supplements, it’s at least 70/30 that this individual is suffering in ways superficial appearance betrays.
is the one where I feel like I don’t have enough time. For some this feeling is induced by a list of nonsense tasks whose completion yields little in the way of accomplishment. It never is for me, and thus the not-enough-time feeling is precise evidence that I am filled with purpose.
I knew I shouldn’t do it. I just knew it. It was too dark and too high and completely unclear if anyone had ever successfully pulled it off before. But those risks also meant glory awaited the bold one willing to try.
Nobody would have called me bold. Mostly, I was just plain irrelevant. The irrelevance didn’t bother me, but I had started to view my lack of gumption as a personal flaw in need of correcting.
So I jumped.
And yup, I was right all along.
The darkness had obscured an army of rocks nestled just below the water’s surface.
The pain was tremendous; the blood was everywhere; and then, just like that, it was all over.
Even those who claim to want advice almost certainly don’t want it. They simply want someone to listen and ask appropriate questions. Nothing more. Nothing less.