Friday, March 5, 2010

something so beautiful

I was thinking about doing the right thing--how I think it should be easy to always make decisions based on what is right and how I sometimes choose just to go along with things I know are inherently wrong simply because I don't want to make waves or make a scene. I don't know why that is. I don't know if it's an indication of a deep character flaw on my part, but I'm fairly certain that it is. I know it's impossible to be perfect, to live the perfect life, always choosing wisely. But when I look back on my life, I see so many instances where I should have done things differently, when I should have spoken up or questioned more, or fought harder to make my truths be as important as I allowed everyone else's truth be for them. It makes me feel like I've given away important pieces of who I really am--a selling out of my soul for a few moments of serenity that never make up for what I've lost.

I know people who are not afraid of speaking up and defending their truths. Some of them are much younger than me and I wonder where they get the courage to be so strong so early in life. I study everything about those kinds of people looking for clues to see how they make it look so easy. It's taken me half a lifetime to get to the point where I am not afraid anymore, but even now I still find myself tempted to keep my mouth shut because there will be less fallout, less drama if I allow my truths to take a back seat.

Here's the thing: I want to be better than that. I want to risk being uncomfortable. I want to be what I know I can and should be. I've tried to remember back to when it became important to me that I just go along, and all I can remember is that it's how I've always been. I want to be someone different than that because I do not want to regret not changing after recognizing the error of my ways. I don't watch Dr. Phil anymore, but I used to. I think he would say something like, "when you know better, you do better"--and I think that's a perfect sentiment.

Playing it safe for the sake of a false sense of peace is wearing me out from the inside. The people I love best in this world are the people who say what's on their mind and don't worry about anyone else. And I think what I love most about those people is that they seem to have figured out that they are only saying what everyone else is thinking behind your back. They find a way to live their best lives without all the censors most of us have drilled into us and though they might not have a bunch of superfluous friends on hand like everyone else, the people they do have around them are pretty stellar. That's what I've discovered.

When I do the wrong thing, it inevitably stays with me forever. I replay scenes in my head and I think about how free I would be feeling if only I was brave enough to stand behind what I know is right. I'm going to work on that. I want to feel free.