Today I am going to discuss three concepts that have been lost to me for quite some time. Maybe this will be helpful to you also, but if not, at least I have it written down so that when I find myself behaving less than my best, I can go to this post and remember.
Have you ever seen the movie Mallrats? If you haven’t, I suggest you do. It’s a movie written and directed by Kevin Smith, so it’s meaningless, yet offensively hilarious. Mallrats is about a couple of guys who get dumped by their girlfriends and spend the day hanging out at the mall. Within this movie you meet a character named William Black, who is always seen in front of one of those Magic Eye puzzles, trying in vain to figure it out. People keep coming by and saying, “Oh, a sailboat!” At the end of the movie, William speaks some of the most prophetic words I have ever heard. “When, Lord? When the hell do I get to see the god damn sailboat?!”
I find these words so prophetic, because how often do we find ourselves sitting there wondering, “When do I get to see the big picture, Lord?!” The three concepts I would like to discuss are responsibility, accountability, and the beauty of asking for help. I have realized that if I lose sight of these concepts, I will forever be drifting around aimlessly, never seeing the sailboat. And that is one of my biggest fears.
This week, I began to have panic attacks again, which I haven’t had in quite some time. I began panicking that I might very possibly be living with my parents for the rest of my life. Dramatic, I know. Yet, to me, lately, that seems like it could be a very real possibility. This might come as a huge shock to some of you who know me (sarcasm), but I have not been very responsible lately. When stuff goes wrong, or I’m irresponsible, I’m the kind of person who immediate puts myself down and is all “I’m the worst excuse for a person in the world.” (Again, dramatic, I know…) But this week, I got myself a new catchphrase. “You are better than this.” Whenever I find myself doing something not on the straight and narrow anymore I say to myself, “Liz, you are better than this!” It’s not putting myself down, but realizing that I have the potential to be more than I am in the current situation, and I have been a better person before. Hence, I am a good person who is better than the behavior I’m expressing.
Responsibility sucks. Plain and simple, there is no sugar-coating it. It sucks being a responsible adult. It sucks having to be a responsible spouse, not even mentioning a responsible parent. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. But it is a fact of life. I have never been good with money. It burns a hole in my pocket, and a lot of times is spent even before I have it. Lack of responsibility. That is what I am plagued with, especially when it comes to money.
Accountability is SO important. And it sucks. But it’s a necessity. My ex-husband and I failed miserable at this concept. We were enablers. He enabled me to spend haphazardly, and I enabled him to… well, we won’t go there… Let’s just say we allowed each other to do what ever the other wanted to do with no accountability for our actions. We didn’t communicate, and we didn’t positively reinforce our good behaviors in order to make us better people. I suppose in the end that is why our marriage was an epic fail. Bottom line, you need someone to hold you accountable to being the person you are able to be in order to be successful.
Last, the beauty of asking for help. I fail miserably at this one EVERY TIME. I have believed that being responsible = doing it all on your own. This is a hugely misconceived notion on my part. It is ok to ask for help, it’s even healthy sometimes! Nobody can do everything alone. Sometimes it takes gentle reminders or help taking on some of the responsibility in order to become responsible. For me, this is the hardest thing to learn. I don’t want to look weak, I want to be strong and independent. But sometimes in order to get where your going, you’ve got to stop and ask for directions.
I’m not sure if I have seen the sailboat yet, but I don’t think I will spend so much time analyzing the picture anymore. I think I will take more time out to enjoy what’s going on around the picture instead, because I don’t want to miss it when my sailboat finally goes by.