I have a deep and visceral need to categorize things.
Probably this is a universal human trait..not just something that I've decided is MINE but something that is OURS. I've talked about this before and I'm likely to tread this road a million more times before I accept that it's who I decided to be.
I want to know whether something is GOOD or BAD.
I want to feel like I'm on the RIGHT track.
I want clarity in a haze of choices that the ones that I make
#2 Are RIGHT
This is a pretty tall order. It is not achievable.
There's no way that I'm always always on the right track.
The sheer absurdity of this thought process cracks me up and depresses me with it's predictability.
It's absurd to think that my energy will always (ever?) be spent fighting the good fight for the light and only the light. I'm not a freaking super hero.
That I won't have moments where I'm working on the wrong. I'm not a freaking villain.
That I won't lose hours to checking out while binge-watching Blacklist or Elementary. I am kinda nerdy.
Also, in case you need to assign value...let's get this straight. #2 in the list of priorities is definitely more important than #1 (and we know that we need to assign value so let's just face this sucker head on).
When I am in the throes of my STUFF...I KNOW THAT I AM RIGHT. And sometimes (most times) I feel like I need you to understand that while yes, I may be making a big deal about something that is tiny, insignificant, and completely irrelevant to the larger picture....while I am being small-minded, petty and short-sighted...I am also factually CORRECT. IRREVOCABLY RIGHT.
A good, smart, smarter-than-you smartypants know-it-all, checking the box along the path to success, over-achieving, soul-constricting righteous bitch about my rightness.
so...who wants to hang out? Just chill?
And yet. Even in my self-awareness around the futile nature of this perspective...I still have this yearning for resolution, clarity, a grand finale or epilogue that sums it all up.
To quote the ever fabulous Rachel from friends...I want closure. (And her hair. I'm pretty sure having her hair would resolve a LOT of STUFF)
What am I looking for here?
Specifically...I want to close the door on ambiguity.
I want to be more simple than I am.
I want situations or other people to be more simple than they are.
I've wanted that my whole life and I've used compartmentalization and avoidance as a way to believe that fairy tales exist. I've limited myself and others in many ways by insisting that heroes can only ever be heroes! Villains can only ever be villains! Sit down. Shut up. Don't let the gray into this situation because ambiguity just leads to lots of confusion and anxiety!
Are you as surprised as I am at the failure of this tactic? It almost tastes like success to be able to label and control every little nit. Until I run slap up against the truth of me....which is that I am un-containable. I'm a glorious, chaotic, walking mess of a paradox and to be me is to stop trying to control, label and minimize me.
My therapist has given me a phrase that I use to give myself permission to be all of myself.
FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS
What I'm supposed to do in these moments it turns out is to stop trying to define the good feelings and separate them from the bad. Stop trying to resolve the situation into something more simple.Stop trying to ignore the feelings that make me uncomfortable or confused. Stop shoving the grief, anger, loss, confusion into a box so that I can keep on keeping on.
All of the feelings.
Even the ones I or someone labeled bad. Even the ones that can't ever be 'fixed'.
It is tough.
Until it magically works.
Eventually, when I can't get away from myself or redefine what happened into something more white washable or tell myself to shove it down and ignore it...I begin to accept it.
I sit there with a big giant turd of a situation/emotion/person and well....just sit.
Sometimes on it.
It is what it is.
It is not what it is not.
That is a gift.
That was there all along.
But it is not peaceful.
It is not resolved.
It is not containable.
That is freedom.