The older I get, the more I realize how sheltered I was growing up. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing by any means (I am extremely grateful for my upbringing), however, it has caused me to experience some grief as the years have gone on.
If you’re like me, you like to find the positives in everything — whether that be a terrible situation, harmful relationship or even a decade-long bad habit. The upside to this attitude: you force yourself to be happy (because as long as there’s some good, you have a reason to be, at least a little). The downside, however, is eventually coming to terms with the negatives and realizing that you’re most likely lying to yourself in an attempt to avoid pain, disappointment, or any other less than desirable emotion.
Let’s be honest, we love to avoid unpleasantness. I don’t know about you, but if it’s between dealing with reality or pretending everything is fine and tiptoeing around the inevitable, I will most definitely choose the latter. This method of madness has caused great discomfort in my life, often by my own doing. So, what do I do about it?
Well, unfortunately, there is no rock-solid solution to breaking this pattern, but, more often than not, reality will force you to deal with whatever situation you’re avoiding — likely at the worst possible time. Honestly, my own personal experience has taught me to fight this instinct and simply deal with what’s in front of me. You can hide for a little while, but eventually life will catch up to you.
Running away from your problems becomes a lot less tempting when you realize your problems are there to help you grow and become a better person. If everything was rainbows and butterflies all the time, how would you ever improve? Learn important lessons? Tackle your insecurities head-on?
The beauty of accepting life as it is: instead of forming your own idealistic perspective of the world around you, you finally feel in control of your life. I know, it sounds backwards, but hear me out. When there’s an important issue you have to deal with — whether it be personal or professional — you instinctively procrastinate taking care of it.
Maybe you’re scared of what the outcome will be. Or, maybe you simply have too much on your plate to add another shitstorm to the list. However, the second you make the conscious decision to wait instead of act, you are voluntarily throwing in the towel and saying, “Hey life, this one’s on you.” Well, guess what? Life isn’t going to magically fix whatever’s wrong — you have to be the one to put things into motion — for better or for worse.
By choosing to deal with the obstacle directly and with purpose, you are single-handedly grabbing life by the reins and saying, “Not today,” while proceeding to stop whatever future terribleness life has scheduled for you. Of course, there will be some present terribleness you’ll have to deal with, but it will be far better than the stuff that’s waiting for you a week, month or year down the line.