On Feeling Bad
Everybody, at some time or other in their life, feels bad for failing to achieve something that they wanted badly or for handling a situation not as well as they believed they should have.
Some feel bad more frequently. Some less, but no one escapes the feeling.
You can see that in sports. In soccer when the player misses the goal, he starts pulling on his hair or hitting the ground with fists. And tennis players smash their racket on the ground.
Some people feel bad in solitude and do not show how they feel. Or deny it is their fault or that it happened at all.
And some become aggressive. Usually with those closest to them, those that they love or are loved by.
And some of those in executive positions “pass the buck” and shift the blame.
You probably know someone that is never wrong. Never failed. Or at least that is what they claim.
Why this universal phenomena of feeling bad? Or why do some, in order to avoid feeling bad, deny the event or shift the blame?
Is there a rule that determines who will feel bad more frequently than others?
Is it correlated to how many mistakes people make and/or how severe the mistake is?
Is it related to one’s ego? To one’s upbringing?
I believe it is caused by a hidden assumption that we are or should be perfect. Thus, when something less than perfect occurs – a mistake – we fall apart.
If you accepted that you are not perfect, and cannot be perfect, that making a mistake is normal, there would be no reason to feel bad, right?
It is this EXPECTATION of perfection that is the source of our pain. The more we expect to be perfect, the more pain we will experience.
Where is this expectation coming from?
Maybe it is the result of our parents punishing us for failing. We learned that to fail is a bad thing and if others do not punish us, the error should not go unpunishable, so we punish ourselves.
Or maybe there is a religious explanation.
To whom do we pray? Whom do we hold in an exalted position?
God. God is all powerful. Knows it all. Has no beginning and no end. Has no fault.
Do we aim to be like HIM not realizing that even God makes mistakes and admits to them? (Bringing the flood. Killing everyone except those in Noah’s ark. When it was raining hard, creating the rainbow to remind Him that the total destroying flood was a mistake, not to be repeated.)
So if God is human-like, why do we aim to be God-like?
Accept with humility your limitations, your imperfections. And accept those of others…especially of those that remind you so much of yourself, consciously or subconsciously.
Stop expecting perfection and life will be filled with less regrets and less bad feelings.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes