The Right Reasons

Learning to let your emotional dam open so feelings can flow is a noble undertaking…

…but are you doing it for the right reasons?

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“Ahhhhh. The beach,” I muttered to myself. The scene was too pristine for me to muster up anything more than a mutter. Any louder and my atonal cawing would upset the balance that existed on the beach, the same perfect harmony the beach imbued inside of me. 

As the sun took its leave, I too decided it was time for me to go home. There would be no better coda to this day at the beach than to wander homeward underneath a sky so red that it would make sailors and former-Soviets everywhere weep like the now-common vulnerable man

Sadly, my trip home would not be with a clear mind for I noticed two set of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one belonging to The Nicessist.

“What brings you here, ghost? My mood isn’t spiralling downward. I don’t feel anxious. I, like the beach, am the personification of bliss and inner peace.”

“Shaq, I need to talk to you about something.”

“What a funny twist of fate. You need my help! Well, go on. Lay it on me.”

“Let me start by saying I do appreciate how committed you’ve been to keep yourself from ruminating and allowing yourself to feel your feelings rather than bottle them up…” All the flattery laid upon me turned my face so red that it would make sailors and former-Soviets everywhere weep like the now-common vulnerable man. “…but I need to ask if you’re doing all this for the right reasons.”

“Can there be a wrong reason to self-improve yourself?” I meant my query sincerely. 

“Don’t be obtuse. Don’t think I haven’t noticed letting your guard down and being sensitive’s popularity is at an all time high. Don’t think I haven’t seen Drake sitting on top of the world. Don’t think I don’t know that when you search ‘why is emotional intelligence important’ in Google, it yields mostly articles on how cultivating EI will make you more successful. And don’t think I haven’t seen that Time Magazine article about how high emotional intelligence is directly linked to being more attractive.”

“You read Time Magazine in…wait, what plane of existence do you usually occupy?”

My plane of existence is not important! Not that you could possibly comprehend it with that corporeal stew you call a mind. What is important is my question. Are you embracing your sensitive, compassionate side and cultivating it for the right reasons?”

“You know what? You have no right to come to this beach, my place of boundless euphoria, and point ghostly fingers at me.” Against my compassionate nature, I kicked sand in the ghost’s direction.

“When did you start on anger, Shaq?”

“I don’t know. I think that might be my little, old anger-cherry poppin’.”

“Wow. I am so proud of you.”

“Thank you. But at the risk of sounding like the scum of the earth, I don’t really see why keeping up with trends, being successful and getting hotter are invalid reasons to enjoy emotions. They are truly nature’s most crazy trip.”

“Because it’s lip service. Because if you’re only doing this for what you may reap, whether it be cultural relevance, more clout or a simple carnal pleasure, you’re self-sabotaging. And I’d hate to see what becomes of you once emotions’ moment has passed, when your money can’t love you back or when the condom breaks. I imagine even worse mess than before.”

The footprints in the sand parallel to mine stopped shortly after the Nicessist’s diatribe.

Had I worn my pair of cement shoes that day to the beach, I surely would have dragged my sorry self into the sea. Alas, I went barefoot that day and was left to contemplate whether my reasons were the right ones.

The Nicessist is a divine being that visits author Shaquille MacNeil in times of mental anguish.
In Nicessism, Shaq recounts the teachings he’s received from the mindful apparition.
To keep up to date with its teachings, follow The Nicessist on Twitter and Facebook.


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