The Right Way


I was trying to make things right in my mind. “Make it right, make it right, make it right,” I said, “be like this, be like this, be like this…” I was always at this stupid craic. Constantly, constantly, constantly. Getting things to be a particular way. Or trying to at least. It was a non-stop job – fix one thing and another one went skew-ways! Get one thing in the correct box and another one pops out. I was going around in circles and it was driving me cracked. No sooner had I sorted one thing out then another came undone. I was going mad with fixing, going mad with trying to get things to be the right way. I was going pure demented. From deep down inside of me the awareness was coming that I was fast approaching breaking point – I simply couldn’t keep it up. I couldn’t keep up all this fixing…


That’s when it came to me – I would stop fixing. I would give up all my nonstop fixing as a bad job. I would go completely in the opposite direction – I would let things stay the same as they were! I would accept them as they were! I would allow things. “Accept it as it is, accept it as it is, accept it as it is,” I said, “don’t judge, don’t judge, don’t judge…” I kept at this for a good while, doing my best to reverse all my previous insane fixing and correcting and judging. “Judging is bad, judging is bad, judging is bad…” I kept saying to myself. I knew I had to stop myself being so horrendously uptight and over-controlling.


As time went on I became aware of an unpleasant truth – I just could seem to stop myself judging and fixing and controlling all the time! I was at it before I could help myself, I did it without meaning to. I did it even though I meant not to. Judging and controlling was second nature to me – in fact it wasn’t just ‘second nature’, it was first nature! It was actually the only type of nature I had. It was all of me. I was starting to see that this was all that I was – a mass of controlling, a mass of judging, a mass of obsessive, uptight energy. That’s just about all I can do – judge, judge, judge. Control, control, control. That’s me in a nutshell…


The idea of me then turning around and all of a sudden allowing everything, accepting everything, and refraining from judging was frankly laughable! What kind of a dope was I to believe that I could do this? Who was I fooling with all this talk? I really did feel like laughing at this point, only it wasn’t going to be good laughter. It was going to be toxic laughter. If I had allowed myself to laugh then (which I didn’t, because I am far too controlling) it would have been bitter, thwarted laughter. It would have been the laughter of a very unhappy and frustrated man. The whole thing was a joke, as I could very clearly see now. Here was I, a veritable ball of clinging, grasping, controlling, neurotic energy and I was desperately trying to ‘let things be’. “Yeah well,” I commented ironically to myself, “I can really see how THAT’S going to work…”


The perception of the absurdity of what I was trying to do hit me like a giant hammer blow then. It lifted me in slow motion and threw me across the room like a rag doll. I felt like Bruce Lee had just kicked me in the chest, or given me his famous ‘one-inch punch’. Nothing had ever hit me as hard at this realization had just hit me. I was banjaxed good and proper no matter what I tried to do…


Simultaneously winded and deflated I got back to me feet (metaphorically speaking) and started wondering what I should do next. I couldn’t help thinking bitterly that I would have been better off never trying to change my ways and stop fixing and controlling stuff the whole time. At least I had been happy then, in a weird kind of a way. Or at least if not exactly happy then at least not totally frustrated and disillusioned. At least I hadn’t known how screwed up I really was.


I should go back to being like that, it occurred to me. Forget all this ‘accepting’ crap, which just wasn’t going to work because I was too far gone in the controlling, too far gone in the judging and fixing. This seemed like the best option really. “Yeah,” I thought, “that’s what I’ll do. I’ll go back to fixing and controlling and judging the whole time. At least I knew where I was back then…”


“Start controlling” I told myself, trying to get back into judging and controlling and all of that, “Make things right! Make things right! Make things be the right way…” Even as I tried this though I knew that it wasn’t going to work – it felt all weird and artificial and despite myself I couldn’t help knowing that it was all bullshit. It just didn’t come natural any more. I felt stupid. Like an idiot. The more I tried to reinstate controlling mode the weirder and more uncomfortable it felt and it was starting to freak me out…


“Go back to accepting mode,” I told myself, desperately backtracking, going back in pure panic to my other mantra, “Stop judging, stop judging, stop judging. Accept things as they are, accept things as they are, accept things as they are…”


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