Eventually, we've done enough work. Eventually, self-reflection mutates from worthwhile growth activity to guilt-induced habit, mourning everything we're not--and, perversely, everything we are.
Part of it, I think, is our fix-it, self-help society, and part of it stems from really, truly wanting to be the best version of ourselves possible.
But, you know, we've done the work. And despite the work, we'll slip, we'll do rotten things, and we'll regret them. We'll apologize and we'll keep trying. But those moments aren't the norm. Apologizing isn't the norm, nor is it necessary.
We're good people. We're hard workers, but we don't need to keep demonstrating that at every turn. We've done enough. Take us as we are--lovely and flawed and very much deserving of a rest.
We are so lovely, and what's heartbreaking is how rarely we realize it. Loveliness has nothing to do with age or genetics, products or clothing, size or stature. We are nature and essence, mineral and bone, color and light. We change with time, moment to minute to decade, and that transition is poetry, artistry. And if we can live the transitions? Actually reside in our impermanence, celebrating its ephemerality, well, we are unstoppable blazes of pure energy, and there is nothing more beautiful or more inspiring, than the awareness of abundance, and the possibility of constant creation and re-creation.
I woke up this morning and decided, for no reason I can understand, to write about love. And then my thought ended there.
Maybe it's because I'm feeling too exhausted to channel any inspiration (although, it might be said that a sleepy mind is quite likely the perfect instrument to come up with something more true than not).
Okay. Here's the thing: I go to bed early and get up by 5 a.m. every morning, not because I have to, but because I like to. I don't care what anyone else's habits are, but I will tell you this--I don't like to be teased about mine. I never have. Maybe if I were a less self-conscious person, then it wouldn't phase me. But after all this time? I think self-consciousness and I are wedded for the long-run.
What on earth has this to do with love? I don't know, except this--I've known unconditional love only a handful of times in my life, and this, for me, is the deciding factor: with that person, you will never feel self-conscious. Which is saying a l...
I've written before about how we're allowed to ask for help or to seek expertise when necessary, and that to do so is not overreacting or asking too much. I was thinking about this yesterday at the dentist's office, during an appointment to adjust a retainer-type thing I wear at night. I wanted it fixed, obviously, but I was keenly aware that all the micro-adjustments, the fittings and re-fittings, were taking up so much time. That *I* was taking up so much time.
I felt like the princess and the pea--a story I related to enormously as a kid and still do--as a dear friend and teacher pointed out, we can't help our sensitivity, and we can't cast the label "burden" on ourselves for asking for what we need.
And besides, I wasn't getting that vibe from my dentist--it was entirely internal. He wanted the darn thing to fit as much as I did, and that's his (chosen) profession. It was funny, though, as if reading my mind, he said, "It's a bit like the princess and the pea, isn't it?" And I...
Probably, in the past, way back when our daily intention centered on nuts & bolts survival, we didn't worry about how much--or how little--we liked ourselves. We had no access to such luxury, or such anxiety--take your pick. And maybe that was better in some ways, maybe that focus on the primary objective was healthier to the mind, if more dangerous to our longevity.
Of course, I can't say. And, of course, my intention is not to make light of what it takes to survive, but to offer a contrast to what and how we label what's vital, what's important, and what we allow to take up our mental space, day in and day out. Because the truth is, we're lucky. We're lucky that our prime directive isn't primarily to get through a day intact.
But it feels that way sometimes, doesn't it? We FEEL lucky to have survived some days, and no amount of "at least..." will shift that. But on the good days, we see it, don't we? We see the divide, we understand what makes us so lucky to be here, now, in this spa...
Was it just yesterday I was talking a good game about letting go of those things over which we have no control?
Ha! Well. Welcome to the human condition. It's not only a place to visit, but apparently, our permanent address. You know, I think I spend as much time wishing for what I don't have and wishing away some things I do, as I do trying to reconcile myself to what is.
The easiest solution, of course, is scrapping all of the above in order to simply (simply!!) live in the moment. But you know I'm not that enlightened. And you also know that's easy advice to give and (for most of us) impossible advice to live by.
So here's what I've decided to do: not to care. I've decided I don't care that I spend so much of my time in fantasy. I don't care that I spend just as much time wishing I could be more tolerant/accepting/loving/realistic toward myself.
Like, I know I'm terrible at playing the social media game, even though to do so would ultimately be better for my...
My superpowers are self-discipline, time management, canceling plans, and cutting to the chase. Not very exciting, I know. Really, I'd be a very boring superhero--my alter ego's costume would smack more of uptight scholar than a sleek and sexy, skintight-and-leather cat woman.
But, you know, you can't help who you are, and you can't project something you're not for very long. On the contrary, it's important to know one's superpowers and to take (a light-hearted) pride in them.
Here's what we can't help: our age, the people we come from, our genetic inheritance, and our past. Yet this is what we worry about far more than most anything else--how we'll hide/explain/ignore them takes up far too much of our valuable resources.
I'm still not comfortable with what I can't control, but what of it? The only solution is to let it go (hardly likely), or to cozy up next to discomfort and persevere anyway.
I always have been a bit of a rebel--let's throw that into the superhero category. I c...
I put my foot in my mouth on a daily basis, and if I manage to avoid that pitfall, it's ridiculously easy to tell what I'm thinking (read: feeling) even when I don't speak. On one hand, it makes it almost impossible for me to lie and pretty much ensures that I'll show up authentically--for better or for worse--whether I like it or not. On the other hand, it makes me a terrible diplomat and, probably, a rubbish party guest where small talk is the done thing.
I've also found--and perhaps you're the same way?--that this inability to hide almost anything made me, at first, enormously trusting of face-values. Now? A lifetime later? I alternate between complete trust and wild suspicion. It's all in the vibe. I guess trying to impress others is always a waste of time and energy and--let's be honest--trust.
So, how to deal? I don't know. I think it goes back to yesterday's post--show up as the change, faults and all. So what if I can't hide anything? Why try? Sure, it might result in a reputat...
I think we're all exquisitely tired of waiting, and yet we continue to use the language that perpetuates this myth that we're 'not yet' what or where or when we need to be. I'm not sure why we have such a hang-up about accepting who we are in this moment--the only moment, ironically, we can ever possibly inhabit.
Do we hate ourselves that much? Or, better question, do we fear ourselves that much? Do we fear how we'll be accepted, IF we'll be accepted? Or, maybe, somewhere deep down (way deep down, apparently) we know how powerful we are, and maybe, just maybe, that power scares us a little?
We think we're protecting ourselves--from rejection, from reality, from our own illusions or disillusions, but maybe we're protecting ourselves from that small, pulsing heart that radiates warmth and universal acceptance and pure, infinite power. What we don't realize is that that power is there to protect us, not destroy us. It's there to unite us in one blazing light while magically maintaining that...
The feeling of being celebrated for you your wit, your intelligence, your beauty, your strength after a a lifetime of uncertainty, insecurity, and discomfort, well. It's a new thing, isn't it? And it's so easy to think that that feeling of worth can only be garnered through external praise.
But as we soon find out, the drive for praise and acknowledgement can be an exhausting slog, unending in its necessary preparation, whether that's endless study, endless dieting, endless exercise, endless practice. Because there will always, always be someone smarter, someone thinner, someone stronger, someone wittier.
There are many rooms, and you cannot be the best in all of them. But you are the same marvelous creature, no matter how many people are in attendance, and here's the thing--you always have been. So when you find praise, take it as a reestablishment of what you already knew, but had somehow forgotten--you are divine and original, keenly intelligent and absolutely lovely in your li...