“Just don’t be stupid next time.”
I said that into the mirror. Or I thought it, with all the energy and focus in my brain, while staring intently at the kid looking back at me.
We know our weaknesses, and they are our weaknesses for a reason. They are our weaknesses because we are consistently ‘weak’ to them, often feeling helpless, like an addiction, like something we desperately need.
Our weaknesses have achieved that lofty title by filling their role again and again, more thoroughly than last time even, getting us into all kinds of repeated trouble that muscular words like willpower and intellect failed to protect us from. Or to act against.
Weakness feels so good, because there is a joy in vulnerability. There is a natural desire we have deep down to succumb to things, to be ‘weak’ for them, to let them penetrate us on every level of being and satisfy the cravings, fill all the voids, color us in like a transparent stick figure just waiting for a toddler with a box of Crayolas to restore us to life.
Weakness, for a moment, is pleasure. We are weak to our food in that moment of starvation, of hunger pangs, where we haven’t eaten in days and would not even think to resist the mouthwatering platter before us. Weakness is exactly what we need. It reminds us precisely what it is to ‘need’ – to not be content or okay or fine on our own. To not be able to resist, or to not want to resist.
When we are weak we close our eyes, outstretch our arms and fall back, all the things we do in those team-building trust exercises, and for a moment we begin to consider that there may even be a strength in weakness, in letting go, in not needing to resist or command a higher rationale to take over. Because logic is the parent that took away the candy before dinner, and we have always liked sweets more than discipline.
There is a moment, right before you fall in love, where you get to decide. It is a point of no return, of sorts. You’re standing at a precipice and you get to choose. You can almost hear yourself in that omniscient inner monologue, your voice in a cautionary tone saying, “There’s still time to go back. You don’t have to go through with it. You can still stop this, if you want to.”
If you want to.
And then, nine times out of ten, you fall.
Perhaps even more often than that, you jump. Willingly. Weakly.
Because weakness doesn’t have to be ugly.
Weakness is only ugly when you’re proven wrong.