There have been times in my life where I’ve been on the brink of actually declaring to myself, and to life, that I want to stay in my dysfunction. I’ve felt safe, and comfortable and I genuinely enjoyed breaking down my potential both subtly through tiny, seemingly insignificant choices, and through great, creative acts of self sabotage. Have you been there? I used to think I was the only person that enjoyed hurting myself as much as I did; and it took so many forms that I’d cleverly convince myself were certainly not the same behavioural patterns as before. It took awhile to even be able to identify it; after all how can something that feels (momentarily) good, be so bad? I have an elaborate imagination that helps me justify even the most illogical belief systems.
I honestly don’t think anyone wakes up and thinks to themselves; “today is the day that I ruin my life” – I think we perpetually justify and justify, and rationalise and reason our way so far away from truth that we don’t even know the way back. Life is lived in the micro – life is lived in the small things, the tiny moments. The choices we make; all 35 000 of them. So many we make unconsciously, or subconsciously. These, compounded, over weeks, months, years, decades have defined you as the exact person you are today. And who is that? Are you healthy? Are you happy with your body? Are you happy with your career? Your education? Are you happy in your relationship? These answers are not a result of a few MAJOR decisions – the answers are a result of what you have chosen and chosen and chosen and chosen again and agin over time.
I rationalised my dysfunctional behaviours (and still do, often) so many times; that I believed my own bullshit. As so many of us do. If I don’t eat today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, I’ll be happy; I’ll feel successful, I’ll feel noticed. If I write myself off this weekend it won’t impact my work week, it won’t compromise my relationship, it won’t cloud my spiritual and physical connection. If I react to this person, it won’t really effect them. If I call that ex, it won’t damage my objectivity and progress. Mindfulness is not about sitting with your legs crossed; it’s about activating your awareness in LIFE; so that you stop pissing away your potential. So that you can take the reigns and command the direction of your life; because here’s the thing;
If you’re not in the drivers seat; life is. And you will continue to justify your lack of responsibility year after year until you’re at an age where you will genuinely experience regret. Regret of what you didn’t do, regret of who you didn’t choose to become. And from that side of the fence, there’s not much you can do about it. Time is the only thing we can’t control.
Dysfunction feels good (in the short term), it’s relief from pain and stress and tormen. I understand, more than anyone I really do. I didn’t become who I am by thinking about it. I didn’t build what I have through luck, or chance. I took control. I took control after days of bender-ing looking at myself in the mirror and asking if that was really who I am born to become. I took control after years of punishing myself with starvation. I took control after I lost all emotional control in relationships. I didn’t let the shame of getting it wrong, and failing, and getting knocked down, define my future. Life is designed to challenge you; and here’s the thing – we have a choice. (and it’s really fucking powerful). You can choose your challenges; you can consciously throw yourself in the direction of growth and discomfort and command your destiny; or, you can rationalise your dysfunction until the day life looks at you, turns on the spotlight and decides to shatter your whole paradigm, simply so you can wake up.
What dysfunction are you justifying?