If you are your choices, and you’ve made terrible choices then does that mean you’re terrible? Does it? Who are you, if you are your choices?
You can get stuck there. You can begin to see yourself as a series of failures. A fuck up. A pattern of disaster. Of busted relationships and sketchy endeavors.
Which is odd to me, because the thing about being your choices is that you can always choose differently. You can choose not to repeat your habits. You can choose not to tantrum and blame. You can choose not to participate in the you that was. You can do that thing Cary Grant recommended. “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person.”
Or, in the parlance of recovery: Fake it until you make it.
Don’t let anybody shame you into being stuck with old choices — especially yourself. You were there, buddy, you know how hard it was. Have some grace with yourself. Nobody gets it right from the start. If we have to go all haz-mat cleanup with our old selves, how about just the repetition part. Toxic in a new suit is still toxic. Toxic with pretty dialogue is still waste. Yup, toxic with curves, gonna poison you every time, man.
There’s no such thing as irredeemable. You can choose differently this time. And next time. And the time after that. If I saved a family from a fire when I was twenty, I don’t get to coast on that forever. If you put yourself in dangerous situations, you don’t have to pay for that forever either. That’s grace, my friend. We learn to have more compassion by living. By failing. By loving ourselves and each other.