This is a longer one…
On learning something. New.
Everyday I work with people who are looking to learn something. Something new about themselves. Something new about how they relate to the world.
They have some remarkably foolish ideas about what learning ‘should’ look like.
I hear loads of these delightful stories.
All the time.
I should know better. I should have done… I know where this always ends up, and yet…
These words, these ‘shoulds’, show up when things haven’t gone according to the imaginations or expectations of the person on my couch. These people who see me? They are so mean to themselves sometimes. What’s worse? They work for themselves and their boss is an unforgiving tyrant.
These foolish cries of despair typically happen fairly often in the process.
Their calling of
I should I should I should
Gets met with me chirping
And you’re not you’re not you’re not.
your knot your knot your knot
(had too happen)
I sincerely hope that the above typos are the worst part of your day.
Still with me?
Thanks for sticking around.
Because it’s easy to get lost in your shoulds.
Some, get so confounded in a web of what isn’t, what should be and how it used to be that they lose connection to the here and now.
Your ‘should’ and Star Trek
Same same? Not so much.
And yet? More similar than you’d think. Your ‘should’ and Star Trek likely have a couple of very important things in common.
At their best, they are both incredible expressions of what we as humans can aspire to.
They are fantasies. They never exist. They are impossible. Fun ideas. Yay yay. But your should? Like Star Trek, it is not real.
I should come up with a Gene Roddenberry joke to put here. Let me take this opportunity to officially let you all down. I’ve got nothing.
Beam me up Scotty
The other thing about shoulds and Star Trek? The destroy romantic connection. Aside from Shatner’s green alien gropes, the other parts of the franchise are essentially sexless. Two quick points: Shatner was the best captain hands down. The episode where he fights Finnigan? Staggering. Fight me Jimmie Fight me! That was brilliant. He was a champ. But the Next Gen? Though I liked it, watching all the people dressed in shapeless jumpsuits? Restrained, tense diplomacy and intrigue? No passion there. Total ice-age. Shut down. Desire, power down.
And shoulds? They are the ultimate libido killers. Shoulds create expectations that are devoid of reality. Expectations destroy experiences. You get too focused on the outcome. It’s utterly foolish to be distracted by the shiny prize of an outcome when what you are doing is focused on the process. Learning is a process based experience. As is love. As are relationships. As is living.
The outcome of life? Death. So. Being outcome focused is essentially thinking about death inevitability, predestination, control and certainty. Silly humans. Nothing’s certain. Well. Two things…
So. When we create expectations for ourselves that we are going to learn something quickly then fall short? People get ashamed. Falling short leads directly there. The land of shame. Shame is the stopper of all creativity and progress. Shame shuts down learning.
You know the feeling. Completely bound. Kill me now. Overwhelmed. It’s so yucky. No one talks about it. Shame is the worst. People are so ashamed of their shame, it is such an unpalatable sensory experience it is the most blocked out.
And, we’ve all got a ass load of shame. It casts shadows the size of Mt. Olympus all around us while we’re blinded by the sun.
So. When you’re trying to make changes in your life, you’re experimenting with a new way of being in the world. If you struggle to maintain boundaries that you like with other people, when you make them for the first time, it will be super new. Like the first time. Because it is the first time. Silly.
Creating boundaries isn’t something that you’re born with. It’s a life skill. A life skill that can be learned. As long as you’re willing to be crappy first.
And why should you expect to be good right away. If these ways of being are new to you, you’ve worked your whole life up to this moment, where you do this ‘new thing’ or behave in this ‘new way’. It will likely feel strange. Awkward. Unfamiliar and remarkably foolish.
That likely means that you’re heading in a good direction.
You have to be bad to be good. Even with basic stuff. When you were 4 months old? You were terrible at walking. Just garbage. Laughable. Laughing at babies? That’s right. I laugh at babies. Babies that fall. Flat on their bottoms.
IMPROMPTU MAIN BLOG POST INTERRUPTION
Remarkably Foolish Video of the week.
100 videos of babies falling.
Bonus Derfulness: Imagine being one of these. Imitate them. What do you discover?
See those babies?
They suck at walking.
Now. Think of what a crap job they do at wiping their own butts.
Oh yes, if you’re reading this?
You were once garbage at wiping your own backside. If you have ability and privilege, this is a pretty basic skill. And for many of my readers here, likely one they take for granted. And? You once sucked at it.
In fact? I’d say there was once a toilette seat and a wall that well resembled the finger paintings that hang so proudly from so many refrigerators.
When you were learning to walk and wipe your ass, it took your whole life to learn those life skills. In learning them, you fell down frequently and likely smeared your shit everywhere.
Considering this, what ‘life skills’ has it taken you your whole life to learn?
Where are you still smearing shit?
Playlist of the week:
Call for submissions
Thank you for the overwhelming support with your hilarious stories of embarrassment for The Remarkable Fools Journal. This is a reminder that the deadline for submissions is March 21. That’s tomorrow. Get them to me for the Journal that will come out on April 1.
Keep the stuff coming. Will it be good enough? Highly likely.
If you missed it, please send me a 3 to 500 word story about “It was embarrassing then but is funny meow” - Stories from high school for The Remarkable Fools Journal which will be published on April 1, 2021 on as a newsletter. The goal? We all get to laugh at how stupid we used to be and likely still are ;-)
One Derful Thing
It’s like some weird sort of meritocratic salvation where they are ‘personal besting’ their way into heaven.
I wrote this as I was writing the piece above. I couldn’t fit it in anywhere. I really really wanted to use it though. It’s scathing. And I like it.
If you like it too, is there a place that you could get away with saying it to someone? A place where it would just slide into the context like a Steve Miller eight track into a T-Bird with the top popped.
A place where it would fit.
If so, make it so number 1…
Let me know how it worked out.