Unpacking Baggage

The greater the potential for good in any of us, the greater the opposite potential for wickedness -Merlinus Ambrosius, James Potter 2 and the Curse of the Gatekeeper

Unfortunately, this isn’t a continuation of Project Miserably Wicked. I seem to have lost my drive for that, but I will try to continue it, if I ever get the drive again. See that’s the problem with us Feelers (Feeling types from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test). I don’t know if I speak for the whole feeling type population, but here’s my take: we feel too much too fast. When something happens to us, there’s this overwhelming gush of emotions we get, and we tend to take action on them immediately. That also means we process a lot faster too, not to say that we process it right all the time. Art comes from the gush of emotions. Great artists, painters, writers, musicians, and the like, have been known to create beautiful art when they’re experiencing great emotional phases. Not that Project Miserably Wicked is any great art, but I seem to have lost that.

So what does the quote above have to do with anything? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about the decisions I’ve made in my four years of college now I’m graduating soon. Most of those decisions were typically results of my Feeling type personality, coming out of deep emotions of happiness, anger, sorrow, jealousy, pride, loneliness, and love. Whatever the reason, I’m sure when I made those decisions, I felt that they were decisions for the greater good. That’s what always runs in my head anyway, every time I make those decisions. And (SPOILER ALERT!) maybe that is what the Bloodline felt when she had to choose between sparing a little girl’s life or resurrecting her parents in the James Potter novel. What Merlin said afterwards though was the cold hard truth,

Even now, she leaves these walls to return to a loveless and bitter life. She has denied herself the return of her own parents so that Lily and you, James, might live. Meanwhile, she watches you go home to loving parents and a life she can only dream of. Don’t think that, despite her actions, she will not lie awake on cold, lonely night, pining hopelessly for her dead parents, and wondering, wondering, if on that fateful night in the Chamber of Secrets she made the wrong choice -Merlinus Ambrosius, James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper

That’s always the thing isn’t it? Not knowing if we made the right decisions. No matter how much we tell ourselves that “it’s for the best”, we are never really sure. And no matter how much we try not to hurt anyone with these decisions, we can never really please everyone, and someone is bound to get hurt. Maybe we even make things worse. “The greater the potential for good in any of us, the greater the opposite potential for wickedness.” It’s a typical Elphaba-type cliché.

That is why, as I thought about my college life, I put myself in the shoes of the people I’ve hurt. Yes, I would’ve been really mad, and yes, I would’ve probably showed it for a couple of days. But that’s also the thing about being a feeling-type; since we feel much more and much faster, we process faster too, so we get over it faster, or at least I think we do. I am still a strong believer that most of us mean well, and that some bad decisions are just cases of these “it’s for the best” kind of thinking. That’s why I forgive others easily, I guess. Of course, some transgressions are merely acts of selfishness and not necessarily misjudged decisions. But hey, we’re all just human beings, struggling with these emotions that are so hard to grasp.

Point is, the greater our drive to “do good”, the larger the effect of our actions become. I mean, just look at Elphie. She has hurt a lot of people by “doing good”. It’s never easy to tell exactly what the right decisions are. Regrets will always come and haunt us, even after we’ve convinced ourselves that we did the right thing. I don’t really believe in karma, or natural justice, or whatever, but I do believe that knowing this, it’ll be a lot easier to forgive, not just other people, but ourselves.

What with the huge amount of free time suddenly dumped on us graduating seniors, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and conversing, mostly with people I did not expect to converse with so soon. And with all that thinking and talking, it dawned on me that I had a lot of forgiving to do for myself. I had this huge, heavy load of guilt on my shoulders accumulated in those four years, and I never really let go of them. Today I just spent a lot of time unpacking all that baggage, unloading all that guilt. I know they say it’s supposed to feel great afterwards, but it doesn’t really. Forgiveness takes time, and apparently it takes longer to forgive yourself. But it’s a start, and eventually that load will lighten.

Clean slates are great and all, but after what I’ve just been through, I think it’s still best to just go through the whole self-forgiveness thing. Who knows, that giant baggage might be the cause of the great potential wickedness in us.

Well, happy graduation to my fellow seniors, and munch on!

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