Try as you might the fact is inevitable–one day you will cheat. Perhaps it will be out of habit, maybe under the influence of some person or event, but a decision will need to be made, and you will cheat. Some of you will feel immediate guilt & anguish. Others will try to rationalize their decision as if they were owed something. A few will freely admit their mistake, take their penance knowing they will simply cheat again. Then there is you. You don’t want to cheat. You don’t even think of cheating. You despise those who do cheat. You are a hypocrite.
When you text back & forth with your buddies while at the movies, you’re cheating everyone else from a good show.
When you berate your kids in public, you’re cheating their trust in you.
When you give in to an addict repeatedly because they’re family, you’re cheating their chance for recovery.
When you lie about your involvement with steroids, you’re cheating your fans.
When you drive recklessly in residential areas, you’re cheating your son’s safety.
When you sit there moping thinking, “Why me?” you’re only cheating yourself.
I freely admit I have my moments where I’m paralyzed by the sensory overload of my immediate circumstances. The “easy” decision usually presents itself as the one with the least amount of difficulty or risk, coupled with a desire to avoid embarrassment.
“What if I fail?”
“What will people think of me (if I fail)?”
Sometimes we just allow situations to sort themselves out by not making any decisions. We didn’t actively participate, how could that possibly be cheating? There’s a time for navel-gazing, but it’s simple to sow the seeds of our own self-doubt.
Many years ago, a good friend of mine stated very clearly, “Why don’t you just suck it up, and stop whining?”
My sister Lesli takes a simpler approach. She lives by the concept that she can live her life exactly the way she wants. Self-centered you might say, but then she is a Virgo after all. (Alright, quit with the giggling, can I help it if I dated an astrologist many MANY years ago?) I envy her brash decision making because she’s bold, and has taken adventures I’ve only thought about.
And that’s when I realize cheating is a choice, and choosing gives you control.
You can make a choice to work late hours or spend time with your family. You can make a choice to submit your resume for that job. You can choose to ask out that pretty girl or handsome guy. You can choose a Mac or PC. You can make a choice to stand around and accept your circumstance, or do something about.
Just don’t cheat yourself by thinking you don’t have any choices.