"We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great."
Lucy Maud Montgomery
This was yesterday's quote, and has been on my mind since reading it.
Expectations are unreasonable wishes to my mind. Ideals, on the other hand, are necessary. We can hold ideals, and as Ms. Montgomery says, try to live up to them, but we rarely can live up to them 100%. Or expect anyone else to. And there, as they say, lies the rub.
Take this whole Operation Greg thing. The ideal was to stay on Atkins Induction for 3 months, as I did last time, and drop 50 pounds. As it turned out, that was impossible to keep. I made it one month and am now eating a sensible balanced and healthy way. A part of me is disappointed in myself to not be able to carry through the 3 months, even though I know it was an ideal, not to be expected. There are just too many things that happen in life to rely on- or expect- anything to work out exactly as planned. Any action can have a number of outcomes.
I believe that you never lose if you never give up. And that however many setbacks, changes in plan, changes in realizations you come across, you don't ever have to give up your ideals. Ideals have a bell curve, too. You may not reach the apogee (Hi Pearl!) but chances are you'll fall somewhere along the big portion of success, as long as you don't cave in to hopelessness and give up.
Which is way easier to say than to do. The same setbacks or changes mentioned can undermine your attitude and confidence to hugely damaging effect. Getting into a bad, hopeless and negative thoughtstream will drown you. It's much easier to give up, to cast blame and act out and justify your laziness. It's easier to not examine ourselves, our motives, our choices. And it's a sure way to be a loser and a cynic, if that's what your aim was. Life ain't easy.
Perhaps that's why I like and have kept the Catholic church's conviction that hopelessness is a Mortal Sin. It does kill your spirit, that elusive thing that is the wellspring of hopes and ideals.
And perhaps that's where the constructs of sin are based. The things that can trip you up and pull you down, ruin your happiness, that must be fought off. Of course, it's simpler to blame them on a Tempter, and every religion has at least one. But the real deal is that we all have a Tempter inside us, and it's how we keep it at bay that matters.
So guard your dreams and visions. Respect them, and you're respecting yourself. They are the most valuable things you can ever own. Only you can take them away from yourself.
Boxing Day 2012 Revisited
27 minutes ago