In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.
I assure you, I’m not put together at all. Nor am I broken. I’m recovering – finding the beautiful in the ugly and stitching it into my life.
I wish I could have lived my life without making any wrong turns. But that’s impossible. A path like that doesn’t exist. We fail. We trip. We get lost. We make mistakes.
No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.
Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a difference?
David Foster Wallace
People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.
What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if I’d actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
If I’ve learned one lesson from all that’s happened to me, it’s that there is no such thing as the biggest mistake of your existence. There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.
The reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.
Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred’s a subset of self pity and not the other way around – ‘It destroys everything around it, except itself.’
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.
We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
Rita Mae Brown
I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.
I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. The most useless of all human emotions is self-pity.
You have to say I am forgiven again and again until it becomes the story you believe about yourself.”
Stop wallowing and remember: the more decisions you make, the more your life is your own.
I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause. It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice.
When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.
Part of being human is that we can’t go back, we can only hope that if we come across that moment again we’ll do it the right way.
You may do this, I tell you, it is permitted. Begin again the story of your life.
Write a list of things that are going to get better. Start with you.