I have seen too many pink-cotton-candy sunrises from my home or
while flying high above the earth to ever despair of life again
I have met too many stunning, underappreciated people in obscure places
Smiling through difficult and obscure work, to ever despair of life again
I have experienced too many rolling hills, starry nights
Mountain vistas and peaceful beaches to ever despair of life again
I must call up these images and allow myself to be refreshed
Again and again when life is disappointing, dark or incongruous
“In spite of everything, life is beautiful.” –Etty Hillesum (written on the way to her death in the concentration camp)
Original post 2011
On this day, many are excited about their new lives and prospects, while others are disappointed that their lives have not yet become what they envisioned.
Sometimes, the disappointment is only about timing. Wait for it.
At other times, it is about nourishing our own growth.
Nothing flowers without nourishment, yet we often prevent our own flowering by…
- refusing to sit in the light (to feed our spirit)
- moving so fast through the motions of living (that our roots can’t go deep into the rich soil of our gifts and calling)
- running from, and complaining about, the rain (refusing, instead of seeking, discipline, insight, and instruction)
- blaming others for our bad luck (instead of owning the roots of our problems)
Today, I will patiently tend my own mysterious growth.
I have certainly experienced this when I am depleted, losing hope and then, some element of promise surfaces and voila, I am suddenly re-energized.
Although, when there is a complete absence of promise or progress on the horizon, when darkness blocks out any light and failure seems to crush any chance of success, the so-called X-spot doesn’t exist.
But, there is a way (thanks to Tony Robbins, Shawn Achor and others) I have manufactured that almost there, X-spot advantage:
- I call to mind another success that made me ecstatic
- I relive it and feel the excitement of it right now in this moment
- I proceed as if I have already been declared a winner
Self-delusion? Or, merely taking charge of my reality as my heroes have done?
No shame in trying.
Yet, why have I shamed myself for trying and failing?
Why does the self-hatred linger and linger and linger?
Why have the failures cut deep shame and rejection-scarred paths in my 3 AM mind?
Possibly because I forgot to change the sound track laid down on the memory.
The new one sounds like this:
You are so human.
You are brave to try.
You are failing better as a result.
You are doing the best you can with what you have where you are.
Your motives are right.
Keep gathering mentors.
While there is breath there is hope.
Ironically, many of us worry a whole lot about eating and drinking “clean” while we are actively mentally poisoning ourselves.
The most important thing I can do today to stop my own poisoning is to root out any traces of hatred in my life.
Where to start looking?
- Accusations I make about others: Usually I have found the things I react to with the most venom are:
(Coincidentally, these are all things that I struggle with myself. Oops. Revelation.)
- who disappointed me
- who I don’t like
- who frustrates and angers me
- who I am jealous of
If I can first, be aware of these two areas, and second, catch and release the accusations and negative words, poisoning myself will happily cease.
“Overcoming the need to create outsiders is our greatest challenge as human beings.”
Melinda Gates’ book, The Moment of Lift is a refreshing reminder of the power we wield when we include rather than exclude groups or individuals.
Bigotry. Racism. Sexism. Enslavement. Discrimination. Alienation. Condescension. Smugness. Superiority. Class distinctions. Cliques. Judgmental, critical, and condemning words.
All cripple and oppose progress.
Will I Rise above Me?
Although I am still groggy with the sleep of the self-centered
Reality slowly fades into focus
Unveiling my ego’s shocking aim to lift itself
By pushing hard on someone else
If it must
Claiming that I am superior
And have more of a right to something or other
I shrink and cringe at that creature
Who must diminish another
To feel comfortable with myself
Redemption always waits close by.
Even when we think…
- it is too late
- we have gone too far
- we have done too much damage
- we are irredeemable
It is never too late.
Our picture of the perfect outcome may be flawed anyway.
Redemption always waits close by.
To ere is human. To learn humility is worth it.
When I have awakened with that sickening, empty feeling it has usually been because I wanted what I wanted and did what I did…
- Without thinking about the impact on someone else (motivated by greed or selfishness)
- To make myself feel or look superior to someone else (motivated by insecurity and ignorance)
- To spite someone else (motivated by jealousy, bitterness, or hatred)
- Without regard for tomorrow (motivated by immaturity and impatience)
“If happiness is not connected to growth, it is always short-lived.” – Shawn Achor
Noble pleasure sometimes takes us by surprise.
But sustaining noble pleasure has to be intentional. The detours to emptiness are far too seductive and far too numerous.
“Joy is what we feel on the way to our potential.” -Shawn Achor
“…ride the flow of your existence and allow it to be your ally.” – Wayne Dyer
As a surfer masters a wave, my best chance today is to recognize and honor the mysteriously, unknowable power all around me and work with it.
Why would I want to miss that joy by…
- telling it to stop?
- running from it?
- asking it why?
- ignoring it?
- arguing with it about my preferences?
If I make “This Is My Best Year Ever!” my daily rally call, I circumvent the…
- lament over the year being half-gone
- sigh over the unexpected issues that the year has presented
- moaning over things I wish were going better
- the fear of the future, and
- the tendency to believe that life happens to me, rather than for me
2019 depends on how I feel about what I will do today, not on what has already happened in 2019.
I’m stopping for two minutes today to honor my journey to the middle of 2019.