• Permission to live a (partially) crappy life

    January 19, 2017 | curtrosengren
  • happy sad masks

    One of my beefs with the whole self-help industry is how unrealistic the message it sends can be. It so often feeds people the notion that not only can everything be better, everything SHOULD be better. And if it’s not, something’s wrong.

    Would it be great to have things be all-fabulous, all the time? Sure. Is it realistic? Ummmmm…nope. And yet self-help gurus right and left pounce on any ounce of non-fabulousness in your life and inflate it to become an ISSUE that must be DEALT WITH.

    Pardon me for saying so, but bullshit.

    Here’s the reality. Life isn’t 100% sunshine and daisies. Sometimes life is a backed up sewage system the requires you to haul out the roto-rooter and have a stinky experience.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that we should just sit back and wallow in it when life isn’t working. I’m simply suggesting that there’s no need to add to the pain by making our situation “wrong.”

    And for you to expect anything different – for you to judge your life as deficient because it’s not measuring up to the superamazingrockstar life the gurus assure you that you can live – is to set yourself up to add a layer of unhappiness about your unhappiness. Not exactly taking you in the right direction!

    Obviously I’m not against self-help and personal development. It’s where I make my living, and I have seen hugely positive changes as a result of personal development efforts, both in my own life and the lives of others.

    But I am against any way of seeing the world that doesn’t let you be human. And part of being human is being flawed. It’s feeling pain. It’s showing up imperfectly. It’s feeling the friction.

    So if you are having a crappy day, or a crappy month, or a crappy year, that’s OK. Yes, take steps to make the changes you need to make – whether those changes are external or internal – but don’t pour fuel on the fire of that discomfort by comparing yourself to that self-help ideal.

    You’ll come up short. Every. Stinkin’. Time.

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