There are these curve-balls that get thrown in our direction from time to time– hardships, decision-making and unexpected events; these are the ones that can make you stop and rethink every step you’ve taken to lead you to the point you are at now, and you find yourself pulling from every source of strength you’ve got in order to adapt and, hopefully, prevail. There’s a saying I’ve come to use, and try to embrace, often: “accept the mess,” and, just like most other subjects I choose to discuss, it’s a lot easier said than done. We are going to find ourselves failing, stumbling and falling like newborn calves; forcing yourself to be a perfect human being will not work, and has never worked in the history of mankind. I’m sure we’ve all heard people say that the people we idolize as perfect also have their own share of issues to face. We are comparing things that were never meant to be equal.
The majority of depression and negativity stems from being unable to embrace the fact that life is just messy, and maybe we want far more than we should. We are told we don’t work hard enough if life isn’t exactly the way we pictured it; we’re pegged as lazy or incompetent if we don’t follow the pre-designed algorithm that’s pushed on us from the first day we step foot in a public setting– graduations, “adult” jobs, family life and retirement plans– it’s all part of the design. Perhaps going into long tirades of social conspiracy theories that would imply we have zero control over anything is not the way to inspire change in attitudes and perceptions. I’d prefer to focus my thoughts in an area that is far more manageable– life is just messy.
In a society that places so much importance on appearances and being extraordinary, it’s easy to lose focus on the things that are actually important to us and the beauty that already exists to have the power to make us incredibly happy. Beauty is simplistic as its core. Most of my own life has been spent pushing back against myself; deciding that my own lack of drive for a family of my own meant that I was defective; and because graduation papers and “big girl” jobs had no appeal to me, I considered myself broken. At times this can be equated to perfectionism– over-extending ourselves when things aren’t picture perfect in our lives. I think we can all admit we had this vision of what our individual adult lives would be like, and had the panic attacks and stress when we realized its not going the way we envisioned. We fight against the paths we choose and the life we create, only to cause ourselves more pain and worry and depression.
I’ll let you in on a secret– life is untameable. The same things will happen over and over again– tragedy, failure and hardships will continue to rear their ugly little heads for the entire length of your life. Getting sucked into the design is natural– its all around us, at all times, and we are quite easily pulled down and forced to question ourselves. Rather than becoming a victim of the social system, accepting that life is messy (and will always be messy) could allow you more room for the things you actually do find enjoyable. Yes, it doesn’t always work and at times I find myself falling into the darkened pit of despair for what I may wish my life could be, but thankfully it doesn’t take long these days before I’ve had the strength to pull myself back up and refocus back to cherishing the small things I have that are far more significant than any paycheck or signed piece of paper.
All of these social constructs are simply man-made ideas, just like your own ideas, but for some reason they’ve been shoved into practice when each idea for a way of life is equally as valid as the next. I find this to be a poison– a toxic way of control used to force us to feel poorly about the way we choose to live and the paths we decide to take. Accepting the mess is also a way of saying, “I refuse to allow myself to feel poorly about the life I’ve created.”
Just do you, booboo.
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