Friday, May 9, 2014

Getting Tired of Your Own Bullshit

Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and the more recent novel The Signature of All Things, as well as survivor of heartbreak if not infidelity) knows plenty about picking herself up and dusting herself off. And then, of course, moving forward. 
She had this to say yesterday on Facebook:


Dear Ones:
Yesterday I wrote on Twitter, "I've never seen any life transformation that didn't begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit." 
(My own life transformation MOST DEFINITELY included.)
Can you think of an example of anyone who ever earnestly changed themselves without first doing an honest accounting of their own mess? Or without taking accountability for their own dysfunctional behaviors, their own self-inflicted dramas, their own role in the dreadful storyline, their own lies, their own manipulations, their own willful blindness, their own enabling, their own addiction to being the victim, their own addiction to aggression, to fear, to blame, to never being wrong, or to always being wrong?
I don't mean to say that transformation begins with sitting down and whipping yourself into a hot froth of shame for all your horrible faults. (Addiction to self-abuse is just another garbage storyline — another way of delaying your own transcendence and dragging attention and energy away from your destiny.) 
But I've never seen any sincere transformation that didn't start with somebody sitting down and being soberly, calmly, bravely honest with herself.
...
Don't let your ego or your damage con you into thinking that change is possible for other people, but not for you. 
Don't be seduced by your limitations. They have nothing to offer you but stagnation. 

So often women post on this site about feeling trapped. How their lives have been "ruined". I know those feelings really well. I felt trapped for months, if not years. I felt like my life had been sacrificed for my husband's happiness and that I was helpless to do anything about it. I was so, so angry. And felt so, so powerless.
And then, I smartened up. I realized that if my life was a mess, then it was up to me to clean it up. Not up to my husband (he could either stay and participate in the clean-up or he could take his mess elsewhere), or my parents, or my children. Me. I may not have made it, but I was living in it.
It's the same for all of us.
In the early days following discovery of a spouse's affair, this can seem overwhelming. And sometimes you need to just take the time to breathe
But when that moment comes when you're sick of your own bullshit (not to mention HIS!), you know what to do.



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3 comments:

  1. Elizabeth Gilbert cheated on her first husband, as detailed in Eat, Pray, Love.

    I don't find her to be particularly inspiring, and even after I read her book, I found her to be a remarkably selfish person.

    So maybe not a fantastic person to quote?

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  2. Decorative,

    Your point is well taken.
    And, frankly, if I didn't think she was acknowledging her own "bullshit" and doing her best to learn from it, I wouldn't pay her much attention.
    But I do think she brings a certain "been there, done that, learned my lesson" wisdom that the rest of us can benefit from.
    Nonetheless, not everything resonates for everyone. Like all else on this site, take what works, leave what doesn't. And feel free to call me out for my own bullshit.

    Elle

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