How do you know if something is good or bad? It seems a simple question, but this is a task at which humans are notoriously inept.
We would say that something is good if we like it. If it makes us feel pleasant and comfortable. Maybe even safe, happy and secure. Bad things bring us discomfort. They take away the things that we like. Bad = pain, confusion, anxiety.
The trouble is that good and bad mean different things to different people, at different times and under different circumstances. Cue: Conflict. Plus, sometimes good things wear disguises and present themselves as challenges, only to turn out absolutely and completely amazing. On the other hand, we do things that feel good and comfortable that prove to be unhealthy and destructive in the long run.
I spend all kinds of time paralyzed by fear of doing things that are actually good for me because they bring feelings of anxiety, vulnerability and stress. Avoiding these things is a quick fix to feel better in the moment, but actually does no good at all. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. A security blanket. I can build myself upon these unhealthy things disguised as good, until the ground collapses right under me and I find I’ve gone nowhere.
Letting go of the security blanket means doing stuff that doesn’t feel good. It means walking up to the big, bad wolf and staring it right in the eyes. This just isn’t human nature – Think of all the people in the world sticking to bad relationships and unhealthy habits, like smoking – Letting go is a process.
Realizing this limitation actually brings me a sense of peace. I know that avoiding the right path because I am afraid will never allow me to achieve my dreams. I can cast my fears aside by accepting that I don’t perfectly understand good and bad, and I’m not intended to. I can trust that my life’s trajectory is headed toward freedom and peace, and align myself with the inherent goodness that is faith.