One thing that has always fascinated me is the ability humans, specifically Americans, mostly myself and my counterparts, have to justify our actions and decisions. The externalization of the opportunity to gain power and strength by admitting our faults is a gift that we repeatedly, or as it were, I have prattled myself out of countless times. Usually, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I was so entranced by my own excuses all to avoid expressing the underlying factor or truth.
There’s always an excuse, a route, a person, place or thing that will act as a scapegoat for one to use as the justification for why they did/will make the choice they ultimately made. As long as it can absolve while it resolves. Even so being responsible for your actions or ascribing the appropriate responsibility to someone for something which needs to be address isn’t something you take a vacation from.
Taking responsibility for decisions you implore or ignore, it’s 100% your fault the things you endure. The other person is of no concern, you need to 100% own up, so you can 100% grow up. Do not deny yourself the gift of growth and understanding on a deeper level because of some foo foo fear of your inadequacies. You should be gracious they’re being revealed to you! So you are 100% responsible, the other person(s) involved, yes even they are 100% responsible, in fact any one even remotely involved in 100% responsible. That means there could be a issue worth 8% of your attention and it takes 500% of collective attention to circumvent and justify resulting in no benefits other than wasting time & energy… what’s the two most common complaints? People are always tired & and they never have enough time…
I was no different. In fact, I was a freaking pro! I was living a lie, after lie, after lie… I became so good that other people applauded me and wished they were more like me! At first it was fine, it was a meaningless lie here and a little lie there, just to feel good about my choices or other individuals to feel comfortable with their conduct, it was a break from reality… essentially, just a vacation from responsibility, but as issues began to appear, I would lie harder so I ignored bringing myself to care and soon I was justifying myself to tears.
I was justifying my attitude, my clothes, my current job of frivolity (or lack of employment), my friends, their actions, my lovers, their actions… and so much more. My entire life was a justification of a justification that I justified, basically I just denied. All the way until I no longer knew what was true. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted, nor what to do. All I knew was I was making any excuse to alleviate the guilt I was accumulating after so many years of not facing my failures, shortcomings, wrongdoings, etc… no time, no energy, no idea how I was going justify for the sake of life.
Until, I was able to justify no longer and took responsibility. The fortunate result is I then realize how much I am actually in control of my life and how I conduct myself. The unfortunate result is I realize how much I am actually in control of my life and what actions I choose. That takes a bit of self understanding, forgiveness, gratitude, self-recognition, self-confidence, & self-awareness.
You have to, or I had to be able to discern when I was justifying and when I wasn’t. When I did conclude that I was justifying instead of simplifying it would lead to rectifying. I used my strength and belief in myself combined with the strength I’d accrued from others’ respect and adoration to figure out why I needed to lie to protect my failures instead of owning up to them. I was unable to own up to shortcomings because to me they made me seem incapable, or unnecessary, and therefore insufficient and embarrassed. Basically, not good enough and unable to feel accepted…
Then something struck me while I was on the phone with a friend of mine. A friend of mine that was the absolute best justification/excuse generator of anyone I’d ever known. This instant she was justifying why she was a better parent than her baby daddy and granted she was, but it made her seem petty and lowering herself to be on the same platform as he, when that’s not the case at all. First, there was no need to justify what she did if she believed what she was doing was correct, second, it made it seem like she was harboring guilt and saw herself as an inadequate parent. She would justify everything from why she didn’t want to wear underwear all the way to why she flaked on our hangouts. It wasn’t until I finally said, “You don’t have to justify why you did what you did, you did it, and it’s done.”
Ever since then I’ve been cognizant of actions and strong enough to own up to follies and not allow my foibles destroy me, but let them be opportunities for growth.
Now, I still catch myself when I immediately go on the defensive instead of going on the pensive and I don’t ignore when I have the chance to own up to my conduct because that’s a moment I have to make myself proud and true to me without justifying why I did what I did. I did what I did because I did it. I wanted to or I thought that would be the best option or I knew it’s wasn’t the best option, but I did it anyway.
So, the next time you feel like you need to prove yourself or need to get out of town in order to catch a breather be real about the core reason. It’s not a big deal to anyone, but you. If you want to do something , do it! You want to go to Hawaii? Go! You don’t have to justify why you deserve to, after all, it’s just a vacation.