We’ve all been there. Setting ourselves up for the impossible .
Today I was told that I was holding onto a cactus. I was holding onto all the things that I cannot forgive myself for and that will continuously plague me – Indeed it sounds like such a laughable metaphor it had me giggling even with wet eyes, but the invariable truth in it is what I wanted to share with everyone.
I’m sure many a times, humans have always striven to be more than could be, especially in this fast-pace society the standards we set ourselves are that much higher, giving failure such an easy entrance it causes us to chastise and punish ourselves relentlessly. Deriving ourselves and each other of the things that each person deserves. It’s often misleading, the saying that the past makes us who we are, and today I was educated in something fundamental – learning the difference between how the past shapes us, but how our present defines us. Wouldn’t it have been crude of me to judge my friend’s uncle in rehab for his past indulgences in drugs? Is he not working towards the same goals as any other person in school? Does he not speak just as fairly as any other adult I’ve encountered? Except perhaps with an abundant amount of experience and a much sage view of the world. He has relieved himself of his cactus. Of his addiction. But he knew, as he watched another fellow leave the facility after only a month, that the man dragging his luggage down the street would be hooked again by the end of the week. And when he came back, all the members would still welcome him with open empathy, knowing that one does not simply abandon his cactus.
But why do we hold onto something so destructive? If you think about it logically, isn’t it silly? We would laugh at this saying because we know how wrong it is. But it is frightening to let go isn’t it? To move on and recuperate we have to individually pull out all those stings, so why not just endure it and numb the feeling out of ourselves. Are we looking for forgiveness? (no I’m not religious) or do we think we deserve the agony as punishment for whatever rule we have underachieved. I believe each person is their ultimate judge, and often we are our own cruelest enemy(Haven’t you heard?) For myself, I find the more someone expresses their empathy and leniency, the more inclined I am to be harsher on myself; I want to strive for more. I want to be beyond a standard teenager, committing predictable mistakes that I will no doubt regret in life later on. Though I was told that it is impossible to be more mentally cerebral than your physical age (but certainly not vice versa) I cannot deny that my most valued morals and standards brings me to exertion as I’m sure as do many of your’s. Maybe it’s the idea of perfection that eludes us, or are we afraid that if we let go we will lose ourselves and be less? But subconsciously we know the double-edged sword of our innermost standards and try to pull away, that’s why people always have these ‘rebirth’ moments, suddenly ripping apart from their cactus and telling themselves they are okay, only to inevitably relapse back into its prickly embrace. And that is alright, so long as you know the ground is there, if you fall and get winded its like someone slapping you awake to stop being the ostrich that sticks its head into the ground and be the smart one to finally look around and run.
If there’s anything that I have not already heard enough but never quite learned was to let go. So next time you’re comforting someone, or even yourself, tell them to skip the bullshit and walk away from the cactus.