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Quest for perfection, an echo of my past
The last bastion of who I once was
Stubbornly refusing to let go

I used to work very hard at being nice
I’m transitioning to make kindness my end goal now
The landscape is different here

I am appalled by my own arrogance at times
Believing I am better than others
What the hell is that all about?

In order to be nice, I chose to put others first
What was in it for me?
I was above reproach, infallible
As long as I was nice to everyone else
I could be pious, above

Yikes
That’s not very nice, is it?

Over here in the land of kindness, the terrain is less clear
Balancing my needs with needs of others
It can be difficult to work through at times
The mutual win can feel… less satisfying

It felt satisfying to feel morally superior

Damn
That’s a shitty way to be

Admitting that, I feel both embarrassed and lighter
With equal measure

I have read through years of old journals
Where I’ve asked myself time and time again
Why can’t I stick to things?
Why do I keep repeating the same mistakes?

Because there was a payoff for you
You were being rewarded in some way for the old behavior
I’d been looking for the answer for decades

Stolen moments of smug satisfaction
THAT was enough to keep me stuck

Damn

Giving myself some grace
At the time, there was a whole lot of not ok going on in my life
At times, that sensation was the only thing I had to hold onto
Keeping me from slipping into hopelessness
Thus, my grip was tight and desperate
Of course I wasn’t willing to relinquish it

Society tends to pity the victim and demonize the perpetrator
I can see the inherent humanity in both sides
There is something in it for each to play their part

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