I sat down at 7 PM to do my morning pages. I could lie and say it had been a busy day (even on those days I’d most likely be wearing the old busyness badge slash facade), but it wasn’t. It wasn’t even a chaotic day. If you discount some last-minute curveballs, it was actually quite an ordinary day, starting with an ordinary late-night Netflix binge.
“That’s why I didn’t get around to my morning routine (pages)”, I’d start my day with a convenient justification. But long after I was done with my morning commitments, I found myself laying in bed and even further down a Netflix binge.
From the corner of my eye, I could see my color-coded post-its and all the things that I could’ve (should’ve) been doing instead.
And yet I’d looked away thinking, I need this time to rest and unwind. But honestly, I don’t know if I really believed myself. Not because I may not have needed the rest, I’m pretty sure I did. But if I truly believed it, I would’ve let myself rest. Guilt and shame-free.
But I did neither.
And so I never rested.
A little while later as I scrolled through my Instagram feed I felt mocked by a beautifully designed 1:1 with a quote written in an inviting font about the virtue of rest.
Hypocrite, I thought to myself as I double-tapped it.
This, however, did get me thinking. Even when all reason, and (Instagrammable) evidence, affirmed that I should be choosing healthier thoughts, actions, and even emotions for myself, why then was I still drawn to guilt and shame all smeared in a fear of rejection or self-doubt?
Did I truly detest my fears or was I merely putting on an act of what I thought was expected of me – to overcome (my fears)?
Was I secretly in love with the fear itself? Surely not, how can one be happy when we are simply trapped in all my fears.
But fear sure did keep me cozy in the comfort of my known.
No reward. But no risk either.
I couldn’t help but wonder – if fear is the ultimate captor, are we all just suffering from a classic (and universal) case of Stockholm Syndrome?
It was oddly convenient to stay in bed, half watching, half spiraling, than to gather the courage or simply the energy to try something different – face this fear only to realize it wasn’t such a big deal after all. That I was perfectly capable of doing the things I should’ve (could’ve) been doing all along.
And then wouldn’t it mean that I had just wasted the day being afraid when there was nothing really to be afraid of?
How well would that go with my ego?
Question is, can our egos really take the blow of being wrong? Or do they bruise like a peach? More importantly, are we willing to even try (to find out)?
Or is this fear ploy, fair play in life? A much more convenient narrative to live with?
Don’t we all know, convenience always wins?
Interestingly enough it also changes – with our context.
It’s more convenient to lay in bed and feel guilty about not writing on a day when I’d rather not (or don’t need to) prove my ego wrong. But when the same ego feels like inflating itself for a very public deadline, then it suddenly becomes more convenient to stay up the whole night and work through a thousand-word essay.
Convenience. The chameleon.
Now isn’t that convenient?
It could be.
If only this chameleon could guise healthier choices as the more convenient ones, change out of the color of fear and blend into healthier hues of freedom (from inaction, doubt, guilt, and shame).
Then maybe we could actually protect ourselves from our captor, maybe even learn to make it inconvenient.