I knew I had hit an all-time low as they put the cuffs on me and searched my car.
They drove me exactly one and a half blocks to the precinct and I was photographed, inked, patted down and stripped of my bra.
I was arrested in front of my boyfriend.
Not for stealing. Not for assault.
I had a warrant. For a failure to appear.
A failure to appear for a ticket I got driving an entire year before.
An easy thing to take care of. On the date on the ticket, you simply go into the court at the appropriate time and listen to how much of a fine the judge will give you.
Imagine that. I turned something small, something annoying and rather un-chaotic, into an EVENT.
We all do it- we create events, even negative events.
We call our destructive chaos many things: absent-minded, busy, ADD, forgetful, careless, bad with money, broke, someone else’s fault, oh and my favorite: normal.
Destructive chaos is none of these things.
Chaos is something we create, whether we have ADD, we miss a court date, or we just think all the tumult in our lives is what everyone else is experiencing, too.
Here’s the clue though; most happy people aren’t living in destructive chaos. They are living in normal, manageable chaos.
What is the difference? Destructive chaos leads you into a downward spiral and a never ending cycle of unpaid bills, burned bridges, struggling with weight loss, feeling unappreciated at work, being late, missing opportunities and never reaching goals and dreams.
Normal chaos is 5 kids running around while you finish off the tail end of brownie making which they’ve abandoned after they got to lick the spoon. Normal chaos is a family member passing away and having to notify work, book a ticket home and find a place to stay while coping with loss.
The difference is that one is managed by taking care of what needs to be done and the other is caused by letting things get out of control and
The only reason we think our destructive chaos is normal is because it can seem like a good story or we are just plain addicted to the upset of a perfectly calm life. We feel like something needs to HAPPEN. There has to be an EVENT!
Living a life without destructive chaos is not boring. It is not you sitting around wasting the best years of your 20s and 30s, forgoing the miniskirt or the 3 too many martinis. It’s not swearing off all assholes- because we need these things. We need a couple assholes to put what a good man is into perspective, we need a couple blurred nights and hang overs to put consumption limits in order, we need that one outfit that tells us that it is only right for a night out, not around the boyfriend’s parents.
On the other hand, we need that one good man to wipe away all the memories of the assholes which could become destructive chaos, we need that night out with the girls where we only had one drink and still had the time of our lives to let us know we don’t have to be shit shows to get attention or be liked, we need that selection in our wardrobe that makes us feel powerful without showing an inch too much yet turns heads anywhere we go.
Chaos, misplaced, becomes our excuse for destructive patterns.
The habitually late will always find themselves in the midst of some “issue”, for instance.
I found myself in handcuffs because I created a bunch of chaos around resolving a ticket. Something a simple appearance would have resolved.
Something a little saved money would have resolved.
Saved money, which would have been there, if I had written a budget, followed it, and had not just shut my eyes to my spending and limits.
It was when I was sitting there in my cell, head down, tears pooling in my eyes, that I realized that this arrest, these money issues, this body, this
Luckily, we are not doomed to live in destructive chaos.
On the other side of this is a life of power and respect for ourselves, our time, our money and our health. A life you are in control of, a life where you don’t have the constant drama and setbacks keeping you from achieving the life you want.
It can be difficult to wrap your mind around at first because essentially we are talking about changing our entire behavior, which can be confused with “that’s just who I am”. But, if “who I am” worked, we wouldn’t be treading water emotionally, financially and physically, would we?
Luckily, I already endured the broken path to figuring this out. Even though I’ll be blogging about it, enter your email here to get more motivation and info on how you can change your life the way I did.
It took a couple traumatic experiences for me to get myself to where I am, hopefully you can get there without all the extra drama it took my stubborn self to get through first! Learn from me. Trust me. You don’t want to continue down my former path!