Guilt. Why is there always guilt?
A guilty pleasure. A sense of guilt playing a game on a weekday evening. Having a wank, as the Brits call it.
Are we conditioned to feel this? Is this something we’re born with? Nature vs. Nurture better fucking speak up and give me an answer.
What is guilt? Is it our conscience telling us that we shouldn’t have done that thing that we did? Is it the voice telling us that in order to enjoy something we must suffer first? But isn’t the human suffering a real thing? Isn’t life, by definition, filled with suffering? We live in these bodies that have an expiration date, that require maintenance to the umpteenth degree, they require updates, that can come defective, and they’re ridiculously fragile. People die from choking on food, having an aneurysm while shitting, or auto-erotic asphyxiation that went too far… while having a wank.
Existence is pain. Just life can be hard and agonizing. Waking up in the morning can be a bitch. We experience loss, failures, pain… so why does the mind take all the joy from eating a delicious pastry from your favorite coffee shop? All I can hear is the sugar spiking my insulin, causing inflammation throughout my organs and joints, and putting on a pound. All for what? A tiny bit of simple mouth pleasure?
You’re fucking right. That shit’s delicious.
The pastry is an incredible taste-bud amusement park ride. It’s a small treat and a spark in a life that can be utterly mundane or grindy. Sure, we can make it all more exciting by “living a little” or taking more risks to create the day-to-day life we want… but that takes time, goal setting, direction and yes, you’ll get there. But I want a little slice of pie right now, fresh apples are only in season for so long!
Do it all the time and sure, you’ll become an absolute bitch-titted blob riddled with more health issues than pounds you’ll put on. “Discipline equals freedom.” as the chiseled-chin-military-man Jocko would say. The dude is right. As long as we stay focused, work hard, stay consistent and start to achieve that success, we can SPARINGLY indulge in the treats that life has to offer. The fruits of our labors, some will call them.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All play and no work and Jack can’t keep the cake out his mouth or dick in his pants.
A balance must be struck. It’s a scale. All work towards your goals and you become someone that is of no fun to be around but yet you contribute to society with a service/product/whatever. All play and you’re dragging friends out to drink and eat too much when they’re trying to raise a family and keep a steady job. Here’s the thing – regardless of where you’re sitting on that scale, you’re always able to guilt yourself.
“I was at the office late so I’m missing out on time I could be spending with my friends and family, which is the important stuff in life. But without working real hard, I can’t achieve my goals” (Purposely putting money out of the vision of success. Not everyone wants to quantify their goals with money, and I mean that in a very non-earthy-crunchy vibe. I’d love to have a ton of money, but my goals are not based upon money, personally).
“I’ve drank 5 days in a row with my friends. The pizza we ate was some of the best I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any work around the house done and I can’t take a solid shit.”
Set a limit on the time at the office, the drinks you have (or the nights), the slices of pizza, spend more time at the gym the next day. There’s always a way to strike that balance. This isn’t news for most people… or most self-aware people that I speak with. Keep in mind, a lot of the verbiage I throw up here are the same things I’m telling myself. These are the battles I personally endure, the mental jiu-jitsu I play daily, the void of guilt I wake up with and go to sleep with…
The guilt though, WHY am we still hearing him/her/it/the devil? Is it a sign of our moral compass? That we’re self-aware of the behavior we know that can be improved upon? Being honest with ourselves, knowing we can always work a little bit harder and improve? Does this fall into the same category with failure… that it’s a mechanism for learning? We KNOW that the alcohol is a trade-off for feeling good now for feeling worse tomorrow.The pizza tastes DELICIOUS, but it may make us a little soft around the edges. Do we want to wake up tomorrow feeling supercharged and ready to conquer… or do we want to have some extra fun tonight? Do we want to spend more time at the gym tomorrow and feel a little bloated tonight… or we want to send our taste buds to a realm of astonishing bliss that feels like pepperonis made love to your mouth for an hour?
This has to line up with our goals. What do we want in this life? More short term pleasure for less long term results or do we want to suffer now and grab that high hanging fruit? Do you have goals? Yes? Chase them and let no one step in your way. If the answer is “no,” then maybe it’s time to see where you want to take this life. As long as you’re a good person, helping bring up those around you, putting your shopping cart back, there’s no right or wrong way to live this life. If you want to eat like shit, drink too much, and masturbate until your dick falls off – go for it. Just know, that it won’t bring anything than fleeting and short bursts of dopamine. Trust me, I’ve tried. My dick is still there… for now.
If you want to chase your dreams, take risks, fail over and over again to win, then go for it with reckless abandon. Blaze a trail for yourself. Be patient, be calm, work hard, be kind to others and yourself. Feel guilt, but ignore SOME of it. Everyone that achieves something special has made sacrifices along the way. Discipline equals freedom. I’m not waking up at 4:30am every morning for it, but 7:30 sounds pretty reasonable.
I love my junk food and booze, but I love feeling like I’ve earned it. Which is why I made sure to sit down and write for a couple hours so I could feel entitled to grab a coffee and a pastry BEFORE I EXERCISE FOR FIVE HOURS and simultaneously curse myself out for it. Fuck that guy, he doesn’t have to endure the suffering we do. He can eat a fat bag of dicks while I eat my pastry.