You know that uncomfortable feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve experienced an unpleasant bout of food poisoning and you get stuck in the bathroom for too long?
I get the same feeling when working myself into an veritable lather of over-analyzation, trying to identify what mistake I made, what lesson(s) I should be learning and how to correct it all.
Can you tell where this is going?
Yep. I made a mistake.
Learning opportunities in disguise, I keep repeating to myself. Maybe if I keep repeating it it’ll feel less like food poisoning after a questionable judgment call in a shady eating establishment in a third world country.
Nope, still food poisoning.
The fact that I made a mistake is wholly unremarkable. Happens daily, many times. But the fact that I dissected it for hours, days, months is– well, actually still unremarkable– but it also means this queasy feeling in the gut, which in turn means unhappiness. Well, maybe I can just leave this carcass undissected on the science lab table. Throw away the rotting things, Veena.They don’t smell so hot.
I’ve had a lifetime to think my way to the top of everything, but when it comes to emotional and spiritual matters, thinking only gets me so far before we start going backwards.
I only get myself this worked up when I start think that maturity is a state that I will climb to, rung by rung, and eventually reach. And by eventually, of course, I mean tomorrow evening by 8 o’clock sharp.
No rush. What would I do with my life if not continually mature? I’ve got nothing better to do with time. And continually maturing means continually making mistakes.
There is a particular person that has been leading me through some emotional truths for the past year. For whatever reason, this particular relationship has been an especial challenge for me. So in this instance I learned that I was entitled and in that instance I learned that I try to control how people feel about me and so on and so forth. I intellectualized these lessons, extricated them from life in such a torturous way that the end result was that I wasn’t able to actually implement any changes.
So today I’m letting go of all that. In the spirit of this Ingrid Michaelson song: “I want to start fresh like a baby in a sink, scrub away all these thoughts that I think.”
Once I’ve found the gold, I don’t have to keep digging in the rock. Once I’ve grown as a person, I don’t have to keep trying to understand what went wrong in order to get me to that place.
So goodbye food poisoning and goodbye unwanted corpses. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some more mistakes to go make.