As spoken by the fascinating Anne Lamott, here are the five BS rules for life:
- You must not have anything different or wrong with you.
- If you do, you really have to fix that. It’s a serious problem.
- If you can’t fix it, you should just pretend that you fixed it.
- If you can’t pretend, then stay home so no one has to see you and your problems.
- If you insist on showing up anyway, then you should have the decency to be ashamed.
When they’re written out like that, they’re obviously toxic. But most of us (me included) live our entire lives like that.
One time I spent a week or so stressing about a big work meeting I had coming up. When the meeting came, I showed up and was prepared to follow rule number three: I was going to pretend I wasn’t stressed. I was going to be cool as a dang cucumber, baby.
Then someone else on the call said that they had lost sleep the night before worrying about the meeting. In that moment, I loved that person. They broke one of the five BS rules for life and I felt connected and seen because of it. I jumped at the chance to respond to that vulnerability with my own vulnerability.
Death to those five stupid rules.