(Not) Taking the Measure of Things

It’s 12:45 a.m. and you are weighing your life in the balance, once again. You are debating why you are where you are, doing what you do, once again. There’s the list of things that you want in your life and then there’s the list of what you do have. There’s the list of things you could’ve said, could’ve done – and then there’s what actually happened. There’s future plans and past fears and past plans that never made it to the future a.k.a: the present.

Who ever said that taking the measure of things in and of itself brings inner peace? When did we all attend that training seminar? It reminds me of this great exchange from Jeff Goldblum in “The Big Chill.”

Michael: I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.

Sam Weber: Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.

Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

We are framers by nature – because for the last 10,000 years we’ve been farmers by nature, brave agrarians looking to define our land into squares with obvious boundaries. But what end does it serve to have a turf battle inside the mind? On one side you’ve got your stinkin’ thinkin,’ and you don’t mind so much really because it’s kicking your ass, right? It’s your motivator. It hasn’t ever worked yet, but someone’s got to internalize your parents disapproval, right? Then there’s the positive mantra side, telling you your’e good enough, smart enough, and doggone it – people like you!

This plays out endlessly until you pop a benadryl and wait for blessed unconsciousness. All I would like to say is this: Who ever said that taking the measure of things in and of itself brings inner peace? Maybe some libra somewhere – and maybe it’s working for them. But for the rest of us, I say, let’s have a little permission to not take stock, to not weigh the balance, to imagine what we can be, but to be happy right now – with no prerequisite anything.

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