my idealism vice

{via pinterest}

i have many vices. many. if you know me well at all, or have read this little blog for any length of time i am quite sure you know this already. even if i try to hide them [i actually try not to hide them when i write...] they find a way to slip out and reveal themselves.

anyway, not the least of these vices is what i call my idealism vice. what is that, you ask? well, let me tell you.

it's this little game i play.
the "should" game.

i look at some situation, and i get frustrated because things have not happened how they should. and i get up in arms about the fact that things are not how they should be.

peter hates this game. mostly because he lives in the real world. he lives in the world of the rational people. he looks at the same situation i do, and proclaims [usually after my rant about "should" has ended] that it makes no difference what should have happened. because it didn't. so, what do we do now?

and then i get all huffy because i don't like living in the world of reality and rationalism. far too often reality needs to receive a punch in the face. because it sucks when the should have and the did don't even come close to lining up. it sucks when the repercussions keep showing up. when the consequences last for months and years.

what should have happened does matter in one sense of the word. it matters that there is a should. it matters that right and wrong exist. it matters when we try to take on guilt or responsibility for something that is not ours to take.

but often the should must bow to the did. bad things happen. imperfect, unideal things happen constantly. and that is where i have to live.

living inside my idealism vice where i do nothing but concentrate on what is currently different than what it should be because things did not happen as they should have in the past... all that does is ruin the present.

trust me. i know. i've ruined the present far too many times that way.

it may or may not be your own fault that things turned out how they are. and if it's not it's especially hard to live with the consequences of where you've ended up. but at the end of the day, you can either choose to move forward given that the situation is what it is. or you can stay stuck. you can move on, or stay stuck living as if there is some magical way to make things what they should have been.

i have to remind myself of this constantly. all of this didn't piece itself together in my head until relatively recently, and i still mess it up all the time. i still ruin my present with my idealistic mentality far too often.

i have to get better at letting things roll off my back, shaking them off, and rolling with the punches. i have to remind myself to just breathe and stop putting so much weight on the "should have." if it's in the past, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter because it didn't happen that way.

yet again, my mind goes back to those haunting words penned by fitzgerald in the great gatsby:

"so we beat on, boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly into the past."

and more than ever i don't want to live that way. 

i cannot change the past. i cannot go back to the past. wanting to change the past causes nothing but futile living. i believe we each have a purpose, and i highly doubt that anyone's purpose in life is an exercise in futility. 

you were made for more than that.

yes, you were made for more.


most popular