I have a confession to make: I swear. Like, I swear – a lot. And recently, I’ve had to explain to my son that there are certain words adults can use that children should not. This all started because he asked, “Why do you say bad words?” I explained to him that words are just words. Some are adult-only words, and some are not. It’s not that I condone my eight-year-old cursing, but I also don’t subscribe to the good/bad mantra when it comes to using the word ‘fuck’. Especially when contextually warranted.
So, for example, when we stopped into Wal-Greens to get our flu shot, and he yelled that particular word at the top of his lungs, I wasn’t as shocked as the nurse who was doling out pain-by-needle. I simply said, “That, my friend, was a very adult word. However, given the circumstances, you get a pass.” (This could be why he’s never invited to church).
The fact is: I work daily to stop judging experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ I learned to experience each activity as it is and accept that everything happens exactly the way it is suppose to happen. To continue, I feel I need to define what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. The truth is that no event is good, and no event is bad. As I mentioned, I work every day to not categorize such events and simply label an experience as “exactly as it should be” which is: Perfectly perfect.
I’d like to pretend that this thought process is very ‘Zen of me’ when in fact, my ability to not judge an experience really comes from a place of survival. The by-product is a feeling of peace.
I’m sure someone somewhere would argue it should be the other way around, but that is just their way of judging my experience and well…another topic for another time.
The moral of the story, dear reader, is…Labeling experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ keeps us stuck in judgment. Some people even use the labels as ways to define themselves. This is dangerous to one’s mental health and keeps us stuck in the past with no hope of enjoying today. My brother and my father died (fact); however, I am not the woman who lost her brother and father (label). Their death is not my story. It’s just a chapter in my life. My first and second marriages ended (fact) but I’m not a failure because my marriages failed (label). Being divorced does not define me as a person. You get the point, right?
It takes many opportunities in one’s life to realize there are lessons within every difficulty. That’s why I now recognize there are no good or bad experiences. Experiences are just that: Experiences. They are what they are. I think all of us could look back on situations we thought we would never survive and be thankful we learned to put them behind us.
I once heard an analogy that there’s a reason why your car windshield is bigger than your rearview mirror. Life is not designed to be lived by constantly checking the rearview mirror. It is intended to be viewed from the windshield as you move forward. Your windshield helps you to see all the paths in front of you, some of which are rockier than others…but still keeps you moving forward. So…go forth and prosper!
As always, here’s a fitting song for today. Are you judging yourself for things that were lessons? What, if any, ‘lessons’ did you survive? I’m always curious and love to hear from you.