Warning: adult language below!
The more I see articles that talk about how we are all beautiful, the more I can’t help thinking about the fact that we are all also assholes.
I mean really, I can be a royal jerk sometimes.
Just ask my life-partner or children. They know best.
And if, as a society, we can find peace in the fact that everyone is beautiful, then we might just be able to find an equal amount of peace in the knowledge that we are also all mean, petty, jealous… and at times full of hate.
I have said it before and I will say it again: this is part of accepting everything.
There was a time in my life where I was controlled by what I would call ‘the shame-attack.’ The sensation of hating myself for doing something that I perceived as wrong—something that I thought made me an asshole.
But once I understood that the true way to peace was through the acceptance of everything, I knew what I had to do.
I had to learn how to accept being an asshole and to accept being ashamed of being an asshole.
It hasn’t been easy but here are five reasons why we should all embrace our inner asshole:
1. Know You Are Not Alone
Each time you feel like you have been an asshole, just think about the billions of people on the planet that right at this same moment are doing something that could be perceived as jerky. You’re not alone. You’re normal. We’re all mean sometimes.
2. Maybe Something Needed to Be Expressed
Oh, I love the idea of using non-violent communication and “I” statements to calmly express what I’m thinking and feeling. I mean, I love the idea of this. But in reality I often don’t know what I’m thinking and feeling until it is barreling out of my mouth at full volume with multiple fucks and shits attached to it.
Only when the loud, mean words are out can I see the truth in them. And once the truth is out it can be discussed and healed. Maybe the method wasn’t that graceful, maybe it even made me feel like an asshole, but the raw honesty is usually very healing.
3. Apologizing is Always an Option
Yes, shit happens and so does the option to say I’m sorry.
I apologize a lot. If I feel like I have harmed someone, I phone them or go see them and I say I am sorry. One time I phoned a friend and apologized for being grumpy at a time that I was in a rush and taking care of multiple children and was feeling overhwhelmed. The friend laughed and said she didn’t mind at all and that actually she had been relieved to see that I also yell at my kids just the way she does when she feels like too much is going on.
4. We Need To be Assholes Sometimes to Fight Injustice
One reason it’s not a viable option for us to always be loving and peaceful is because there are a lot of things happening in the world that aren’t okay—people being hurt, the natural world being destroyed, children needing protecting. Sometimes we need to yell and shout and criticize and protest.
So, please don’t think being a spiritual person is all about loving everything—because there are a lot of things not worth loving, and hate and anger are needed forces in the fight against injustice in the world.
5. The Definition of Suffering is Wanting Things to Be Different Than They Are
Being an asshole happens. It happens to all of us. If, during the times when we act like an asshole we decide we did it all wrong, and that we really are a useless piece of crap who doesn’t deserve to exist, well then we are just throwing injury on to the insult and making the suffering worse.
Self-love and self-acceptance in the face of our own negative actions is one of the most healing choices we can make.
So, even if we can’t rejoice in our own asshole-ness, then the least we can do is embrace it for what it is—a part of life that is here to stay, and which might even teach us something, after all.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emma Ruffin