We all know what a honey-do list is, right? It’s things we desire our significant other to do to make our lives easier. As long as there’s a fair give and take to the relationship, then more power to these lists. These lists help get s*** done.

            The issue comes when we’re faced with things in our everyday lives that leave us ruminating, fearing, and heading for the rabbit hole of indecisiveness and inaction. I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I have gathered a list of what not to do. The last thing you want is for your bestie to say, “Oh, hunny (this will be pronounced with extra, invisible syllables), no you didn’t!” The previous sentence is a nice way of calling you a sweet, precious dumba$$.

            Some of these will be silly, but true. Others will be watershed moments. Here goes:

– Don’t be a victim when you can make a decision. There are real victims out there that need the attention and sometimes inaction can be worse than pulling the figurative trigger.

– Don’t mistake smothering for love. Left unchecked, it can be a force of destruction. Keep the phrase, “If I can’t have him, nobody will,” in mind when you think on this. It may not be that exact scenario, but absolutes can be absolutely dangerous.

– Don’t underestimate an inferiority complex and its potential for irrational behavior.

– Never trust a fart. We’ve all been there. If not, just wait.

– Don’t be heavy-handed when a light touch will do. You can add sugar and salt, but you cannot take it away.

– Don’t chase closure. It can be a portal to regret and frustration. Organic is always your ace in the hole.

– Don’t confuse grief with time-served. Grief takes as long as it takes, just make sure to check in with a professional if you feel stuck.

– Don’t ignore the red flags lest they become part of a Molotov cocktail that leads to the conflagration of your essence.

– Don’t hand over your power.

– Blood relations don’t always equal a caring and loyal relationship. Toxic is toxic. How many people have you heard say, “But she’s my _________.”? It’s even worse if you fill in the blank with the misunderstood and misrepresented word soulmate. Soulmates can come here to be our one true love, yes. They can also come to be our one true torturer until we take our power back. That’s the point of these soul connections. We can kumbaya on the other side of the veil.

– “Don’t rock the juke box,” if you want to hear some Jones. (Alan Jackson)

– Don’t be neglectful in working out your definition of forgiveness that makes your heart resonate. Tupac once said, “Just because you lost me as a friend doesn’t mean you gained me as an enemy. I’m bigger than that. I still want you to eat, just not at my table.”

– Don’t underestimate the change in energy of naming at least five things that went right with your day while trying to fall asleep after a crappy day. This is a good practice any day, but particularly after a rough one.

– Don’t “wake me up before you go go.” Please just go.

– Don’t underestimate the need to recharge your batteries, not to mention spending QT with significant others. This can look different for different people. Some need to take a trip to the other side of the world, some need a staycation. You do you.

– Don’t take on the attitude of the cancel culture we live in. Not everything or everyone needs to be excised from your life like a boil, perhaps it or they just need to be reprioritized.

– Don’t underestimate that perception can become a reality damn quick. This is why we can fall into the trap of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

– In a similar vein, never forget that context matters. It’s why the best lies are filled with half-truths with a heavy-hand of plausibility. My narcissists out there know this to be true to the extent that truth is so fluid and malleable that they likely don’t know the real truth.

– Don’t allow passive-aggressiveness in your life. There’s a price to be paid even if you think you’re the clever one.

– Don’t assume. Not all wounds are apparent. For that matter, neglect your mental health at your own peril.

– Don’t assume the loudest, most charismatic to be the voice of leadership.

– Don’t forget the adage, “fool me once…”. There’s a reason for its adage status.

– Never underestimate the needy with their talent for victimization and drama. Not all nightmares have villains.

– Don’t go through life with cynicism as your ride or die. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, “Cynical, jaded, and ignorant is no way to go through life.”

– Finally, “Don’t stop believing.” (Journey) Faith matters.

            Okay, this list is likely not complete, so if Wholly Holistics readers out there can think of some I’ve missed, please write to Lowcountry Weekly with suggestions for this or any other topic you’d like to see expounded upon. Thanks so much. As always, our hope is that this is received with the helpful nature it was intended.