How many times will it take doing the wrong thing before learning from mistakes?
For me, the number seems to be endless.
At some point or another, I have to ask myself… why?
It’s not like I enjoy inducing pain upon myself nor heartache. Yet for whatever reason when a familiar situation arises and I have the opportunity to address it differently than before, I still fall into the same old traps.
Some say old habits die hard. Others believe we subconsciously choose what is “bad” for us. It’s possible that it is part of an intrinsic internal struggle: choosing what we want rather than what we need.
This would make sense because there is exorbitant evidence supporting humans’ tendency to pick pleasure over pain. However, to our own demise, the things that feel good usually aren’t good for us. The same can be said about things that feel terrible. For example: going to the gym, no matter how tedious or difficult, is more beneficial than a night on the town getting shit-faced. A big difference between the two activities is that the first though the initially painful can cultivate long-term health fitness. The second can generate instant gratification but no lasting outcome. My perception of happiness, pleasure, and all things good are rooted in this momentary existence. Indulgence as an “ephemeral attempt” at happiness does not support the notion of continuing satisfaction.
It’s like ecstasy. Total enchantment followed by a comedown. So again my question is why. Why risk facing extended periods of sadness, grief, or depression for a vanishing euphoria. I’m not looking for the answers biologically. I am more curious about why one would instinctively subject themselves to something they know very well will not provide any long-term reaction. During my quest for answers, I fumbled through some favorite quotes of mine under the penname R.M. Drake, an alias all over Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. His specialty seems to be simple yet insightful quotes, however, he’s also written several books. One called Beautiful Chaos. The quote said,
“And just like that, before it even began it was over. The moment I thought I belonged, I found myself back where I started and I thought… how in the hell could anyone keep their sanity playing this game. And the answer was simple. We were all will willing to die a little for a chance to be loved.”
I like this quote. The fact that his pseudonym is Drake is a plus. I’m a Champagne Papi fan and I find it ironic both Drakes are such saps. The quote quite eloquently answers my why question. Whether we crave human connection, validation, or actualization, we are all willing to indulge ourselves. Why? Because we want to feel good. And we want to feel good all the fucking time. It’s an addiction. Sometimes I wonder if my own debauchery will stunt my progress. From personal experience as the Queen of Indulgence in my Vices, I’ve become aware of two consistent feelings after my self-serving choices. The first is an awful lingering feeling. It’s a mirage in a desert. It feels as though I am trying to grasp a hold onto something which no longer exists. Like a comedown. It’s waking up in the morning and struggling terribly to recall the paradise you dreamed of. The second thing I feel is guilt. Due to whatever bad, egocentric decisions I made, I have an awful-cringy feeling in my stomach.
My goal is to seek awareness and ultimately ditching this foolish fantasy. I think if we can strive for humility when it comes to indulgence in our vices, we will feel more balanced. Sure, everyone wants to feel loved. Everyone wants to feel wanted. Everyone wants to feel good all the time but it’s unrealistic and inevitable that we are eventually going to feel shitty. We are going to mourn. We are going to cry. We are going to feel dejected. We are going to feel hopelessly despaired. The sooner we can accept that not every moment is going to be rainbows and butterflies, the better emotionally balanced I think we will be. Moments of discomfort, misery, and loneliness are really quite normal. I think when we learn that it’s okay to not be okay, we will truly find peace within ourselves.
Photo Credit: Helen Estrada