Following the theme of feeling "not good enough," I find myself thinking about Ritsu Sohma from Fruits Basket.
Fiction therapy is all about empathizing and identifying with fictional characters or situations. With that in mind, Fruits Basket covers quite a few common perspectives. Ritsu, the child born in the year of the monkey, is in both the show and the manga.
Anxious For Punishment
Ritsu appears in the anime during episode 23, 'Is This The Rumored Ri That Mother's Daughter?' and chapter 44 in volume 8 of the manga.
There is a Ritsu Sohma within nearly all of us. That anxious fear of messing up, constantly aware of our mediocrity rumbles beneath the surface of seemingly confident, capable exteriors. One wrong, unexpected mishap like the ripping of a bag or breaking a cup can bring that anxiety to the surface at any time.
Ritsu may take it to an extreme, but we all live with a voice just like that in our minds. When we accidentally hurt people we care about, the guilt can be consuming. Think about the last time you did or said something that caused someone pain. Chances are you not only felt guilty, but may have even wished for a punishment. You may not have given it a second thought; punishing 'bad' things seems reasonable, doesn't it?
But punishments can often go too far, especially when we start judging mistakes and accidents as equal to intentional actions. Why don't we give ourselves a break once in awhile?
Average At Best
One of the most memorable lines of the Ritsu episode is, "In everything I do, I'm average at best." With 7 billion people in the world, it's so easy to feel the weight of that comment. So few people can be the 'best,' leaving the rest of us struggling through the averages to find what we're good enough at to feel worthy of pursuing. Until we figure that out, the anxiety lingers.
Not knowing where you fit into the world can be depressing. Guilt and a desire for punishment mixed with the disconnecting anxiety creates a need for comfort and refuge from those feelings. That need can lead to addictions and other bad habits, deepening the feeling of disappointment and failure. The cycle can be a hard one to break.
Break The Cycle
There's only one way to change the habits of self-sabotage and begin a track of improvement and happiness: find your reason to live. Some call it passion, others refer to it as 'service,' but in most (if not all) cases it involves connecting with others in a way that only you can. Maybe that's by creating a nonprofit, or building a family, or even being the best gas station clerk you can be. Whatever the case, there is something in your life right now that can be that reason. You don't have to wait to find the "big" one to begin.
No reason is too small, so long as it fuels your soul to focus on bringing joy to the world. A simple smile from a customer, a sigh of relief from a co-worker, or the twinkle in a child's eyes can have an enormous ripple effect. Don't forsake those "small" joys in search of something larger; it all compounds in ways you can't possibly imagine.
Find your reason, and remember (in the words of Tohru Honda): "The world really is a much better place with you in it!"
The Master of Beginnings, inviting discussion, joy, healing and every shade of grey the Multiverse has to offer!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.