What are you willing to do to win?
Are you willing to lie? How big of a lie? A little lie? How big can a lie be before it’s not a little lie anymore. What are you willing to do to cover up that little lie you told to win? Are you willing to cheat? Are you willing to pass the blame? Are you willing to steal?
Over the years, I have figured out that winning is not my goal. For me, every day I am sober from sugar, my goal is to be simultaneously more humble and less of a doormat.
When I was eating compulsively, I spent almost all of my life apologizing for existing, but refusing to apologize for my bad behavior. I would justify it, blame other people, and just plain old lie about it, but I never just said, “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”
Now, I am committed to the opposite. I apologize for my bad behavior. And I refuse to apologize for existing. And that extends to being myself and taking care of myself. It’s the difference between being a self-righteous chump and a modest powerhouse.
To my self-righteous chump self, winning was a necessity that I was willing to do anything to achieve. To the modest powerhouse, life is not a zero-sum game.
It turns out that a lot of people have opinions about me. They have opinions about my lifestyle, my choices, and my personality. They have opinions about things that are absolutely and 100% none of their business.
That’s OK. They can have their opinions. What they cannot have are my apologies. Too bad, so sad. Sorry, not sorry.
And there is another thing that they cannot have. They cannot have a say in my heart, soul, or spirit. They cannot make me hard. I will not allow it.
I’m a sensitive person in some ways. I have very big feelings. Books and movies make me cry. Even TV shows and comic books make me cry. (Good ones, of course…)
But malice and cruelty make me cry too. Especially, but not exclusively, when they are directed at me.
My being susceptible to being hurt upsets a lot of people in my life. People who want what’s best for me want me to be harder to touch. Growing up, people used to tell me not to be so sensitive. My boyfriend tells me that when I get upset “they” win.
But I don’t think that’s true. I think “they” win when I grow a crusty layer of ice around my heart, so that I am immune to malice and cruelty.
I don’t want to be immune to malevolence. I want to be hurt by hurtful things, so that I never stop being moved by moving things, or inspired by inspiring things. I never want to forget my humanity.
I spent the first 28 years of my life trying to numb my gigantic feelings with sugar. I built fortresses around myself trying to be hard. Fortresses of fat and indifference and meanness. I ate my feelings into a 300 lb body. And it never did work, either. I was still sensitive. I just lived in a tiny world. A tiny world of self-involvement and ego.
This is better. Crying is not the end of the world. Nobody is winning when I cry. Because crying is not part of a game. It is part of being alive and aware and available for life. Which I do for myself. So, sorry, not sorry!