Let it Be?
It would be odd for me not to experience some kind of existential crisis at least once a month. For April I decided to fixate on the idea that as much as we are feeble and futile human beings, we still have a hell of a lot of choices to make. Often people gloss over this fact and would rather accept no responsibility. Sure, I’ve done it. But then I read Jean Paul Sartre and felt like shit. No, I do not want to live in bad faith, thank you very much.
I had an ex-boyfriend who used to always say to me, “it is what it is”–a statement that sent my blood curdling through my veins. How escapist! How illogical! How fucking annoying! But, there is some truth to it. Sometimes I think we do need to listen to those “whisper[ed] words of wisdom and let it be..
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be”
Does that suffice? I wish. It certainly is a comforting notion that sometimes we do need to let ourselves off the hook, to put away our tool belts and let it just be. Trying to fix other people will lead you to heart break, trust me. I’ve only done it like five times.
So where do we draw the line? When does accountability or responsibility or loyalty end? And I don’t just mean towards other people; I also mean towards ourselves.
I’ve been faltering and fumbling through life without knowing what it is I’m even fighting for at times. Is it ever okay to give up? To let go of your dreams? People you love? Wherever it is I’m headed, I know I can’t bring this all along with me. Something’s gotta give. And yet my heart keeps telling me I mustn’t let go. I’d like to tell my heart that I only have two hands, so what the fuck should I hold on to? But it cares not for this physical predisposition.
(Sorry for all the cursing today.)
I think what it comes down to is this: How do you want to define a situation or even your self? Do you want to be vindictive or do you want vindication?
I know there’s no clear-cut answer to this. I’ve dreamed of a million revenge plots including putting poison ivy in someone’s body wash, but I can’t think of an instance where I’ve actually followed through on any of my evil plotting (lucky for them) and I’m glad I didn’t.
I don’t think you have to be a lover of words like myself to notice how close those words are: Vindictive / Vindication. Unfortunately we are all probably more familiar with the former. It implies action and pride and the Biblical eye for an eye. But we do have a choice to choose vindication instead. When someone hurts you, you can hurt him or her back. That’s fair. Someone once even said that all is fair in love and war. Maybe for some, but I don’t know if that works for me. I punched a guy in the face once after he disrespected me and I didn’t feel any better. (Sorry, Peter.)
There’s plenty of times that I’ve been the aggressor. I’ve hurt people without even meaning to because in some way I didn’t think that my actions or my words would matter. I had no intention of hurting, but I did it anyway because that’s what happens when you live your life at a comfortable distance from reality or you just go through the motions, as the saying goes. But I’m looking up at my book shelf and that tiny little black book by Jean Paul Sartre glares at me, could probably knock me out if it fell because it reminds me that I’m still responsible. Yeah, it’s a paperback and weights like nothing, I know–I’m making a metaphor.
I think I’d like to challenge myself to pick the latter of those two words: vindication. Go ahead, call me a wuss. But this doesn’t mean I plan to take anything lying down. No, no. This means that when I have a choice to make, I have the option to set myself free. To acknowledge and vindicate–to liberate myself of negativity or bad blood or silly revenge plots. To vindicate is to acquiesce, sure, but I don’t think this is the same as doing nothing. In fact I think it’s doing so much more than any baser instinct would allow for. I think it takes courage to fight a little within, to feel the full extent of emotion or pain before you’re truly exonerated instead of simply slashing someone’s tires or offering them laxative chocolates while you smile at them or kiss them on the cheek. You really wanna be Judas, do you? Well maybe you do.
But I think when I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary will come to me. She’ll speak words of wisdom and, hell, I’m gonna let it be.
I couldn’t find a link to the original by the Beatles, but I do love this other version from Across the Universe–always gives me chills. Give her a listen, eh?