I am good at arguing. Really, really good. Perhaps it is because I was raised by lawyers, or perhaps it is because I was an English major and perfected the art of making stupid arguments really, really well: I once wrote a whole 8-page paper about a single sentence I pulled out at random from a novel… I got an A. However, recently I realized that this skill has been crippling my development. My arguing is so automatic, and so effortless, that I can defend any irrational behavior I have in an instant. Sometimes I even surprise myself and come up with some really good reasons! As pointed out by my loving boyfriend “I am always right.”
But he or she who is always right never grows, and never gets any better.
Admitting we are wrong becomes even harder, when it’s not just an opinion that is wrong, but an action that has hurt other people. Often times, we know when an action will hurt others, but we commit it anyway. Journalist and author Mignon McLaughlin stated, “True remorse is never just regret over consequence; it is regret over motive.”
These little acts of hurt are committed every day. The easiest ones to see are in the food we eat, and the products we buy/consume. Subtler acts come accompanied by the excuse of “not having enough time.” Of course, there is never enough time to call your mother, father, grandparents, friend. Of course, there isn’t the time to exercise, so that you can be healthy enough to play ball with your kids or fur baby. Furthermore, of course you can get defensive and lash out when anyone tells you your wrong, and hurt them, because if you don’t you’ll be forced to feel bad about yourself. Why do you think people get so defensive about eating inhumane meat? Why do you think people get so angry when you suggest they change their habits for the better, or perhaps spend more time with their family? We get angry because we know we should do these things…. And yet we don’t.
We hate feeling remorse, and we will do anything, even more remorseful acts, to avoid feeling it.
Yet, in remorse is where we find our power for change. After writing the blog post complicit, I’ve allowed myself to feel bad and remorseful about choices that I have made. In doing so, I have found even more motivation to change myself for the better each and every day. I feel lighter, freer, than I ever have before. I have more power to make my own choices, and to determine my own life than I had realized. Excuses may make you feel better in the short term, but the only way to true and lasting happiness, is through full acceptance of your shortcomings and mistakes.
I think this conclusion to an article in Psychology Today said it best….
Taking true remorse a step further, when we accept responsibility, trace our motivation, and make amends, we can be thankful for the lesson – even if it was excruciatingly hard. We have the opportunity to learn from it and live through it. We can choose to become a better, more enlightened person and create for ourselves a brighter, kinder, more compassionate future.
This week in updates: Lean Mean Baking Machine!
Work has been slow, and in contrast, life outside of work has been flying fast! Most of this week I was dog sitting, one job through a friend, and the other through Rover. $200 in one week! Which may sound like a lot, except my cats have been having health problems, so there goes that chunk of change and then some. I have been extremely motivated in the kitchen, attempting my own homemade chickpea flour pasta, sourdough bread with a homemade sourdough starter (named dough-ie), and practicing some vegan cheesecake recipes for my coconut intolerant friend. I would call my results more chocolate pot de crème with Oreos than cheesecake. Maybe next time I will double the lemon juice. If you were wondering, yes First Cake Friday did go extremely well! I am getting better and this vegan baking thing. I am wondering if next time I should try filled cupcakes. Or maybe a dark chocolate brandy cake. Or maybe just a chocolate chip brandy cake. AHHHH! So many ideas!
I also started an Introduction to Sustainability Course on coursera. I’m auditing because I am cheap like that, and having so much fun! I am such a green geek. Who wants to talk J curves versus S curves and what the key to sustainable populations are?
Finally, only one more week of no running and no barbell lifts! Sure I missed my 50 mile bike ride days (and the incredibly ability of long bike rides to make me loose two pounds of fat in one day) and using the leg extension machine in the old people room is fun, but that chalk is calling my name! I just hope my lifts haven’t gone too far downhill.
The Recipe: Drunk Cherry Garcia Vegan Cupcakes
Inspire by an awesome Ben and Jerry’s flavor that I can never have, these cupcakes are moist, delicious, and best of all, cruelty free!
- 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tbs baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cup water
- 3 tbs lemon juice (about one lemon’s worth)
- ¾ cup safflower or sunflower oil
- 3 cups dried cherries
- 1-1½ cups brandy
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup non dairy milk
- Set aside about 1/4 cup of the cherries for topping. Soak the remaining cherries in the brandy for at least 8 hours. Drain and save the brandy that you drained.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Put aside the chocolate chips and the non diary milk. Those are for the chocolate topping.
- All of the other ingredients, divide into dry and wet. Mix into two separate bowls. (THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP)
- Grease a cupcake pan.
- Mix all of the cupcake ingredients together, and immediately pour into cupcake cups before the lemon juice baking soda reaction dies off.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until a fork comes out clean.
- With all of the remaining brandy from the cherries, brush liberally over the cupcakes and let it soak in. Let cupcakes cool.
- For the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. You can do this in a glass pyrex container, pausing every 30 seconds to stir.
- Beat the melted chocolate with the non dairy milk. Let cool until it is of a workable consistency, and top cupcakes. I like only using a little, because these only need a touch of the dark chocolate flavor.
- Place the remaining dried cherries on top of the cupcakes.