"Try again. Fail again. Fail better." -- Samuel Beckett
One can strive to make changes in their life at any time of year, but a new year seems to bring with it the promise of another chance to do this year better.
My head has been pinging around like a pinball game. Remember those? So many thoughts about what I want more of and less of and what I want that is completely new. So much thought that it makes me feel panicky, like an hour has been wasted thinking when I should be out there doing if I'm going to make all these things happen. But the last thing I want to feel is rushed, worried, or panicky.
I'd love to have world peace, but I'll settle for this being the year of mind-peace.
Another trap I'm tempted to fall into in a new year is believing that I need a week off to get my act together -- some kind of reassessment retreat. While I'm not questioning the value of getting away from things to contemplate, my problem is that I think that after a week of staring at my navel, I'll have figured everything out, I will have a complete plan in place, I will have my act together, I will be organized and focused, and I will never have to feel disjointed again and have the need to sit down and rethink things because what I come up with will be the epitome of ultimate perfection.
As you can guess, I've tried to achieve this divine state of being before.
My friend, Sue, wrote in her blog that one of her friends had commented that she seemed to really be about empowerment. It made me wonder what I was about. Probably fear, but the things I'd like to be about include: being a good friend, standing up for the marginalized (sounds hoky but it's important to me), humor - lots of humor, and living an adventurous, daring, and awe-filled life.
But when I mentioned to Sue my question about wondering what I was about, she replied with her usual insight,
"As far as being *about* stuff-- I was flattered this friend thought this, and would like to be about empowerment etc, but also about being open, and taking chances, and having ambition, lots of things. A lot of times I'm just me though, swearing and being bad at things, and being self-centered and all the other ~bad~ qualities. I guess it's good to strive for being about the lofty things, but to realize we're all just human huh?"
She's right of course.
Another wise friend, asked me, "Seriously, if you met yourself Maery, wouldn't you like you? You have to deprogram all that garbage that has been spoon-fed to you over the years and plug in a new set of beliefs."
That message wasn't easy for me to take in. I have never had anything like the love and support in my life that I have now. It's wonderful but also frightening. I don't exactly know what to do with it. I'm afraid like many things in my life that it's not real or will disappear. That is so insulting and unfair to my friends, I know. It's just so hard to believe.
Yes, my biggest challenge may be to learn to take such words and actions in. To believe it. To feel I deserve it. To trust that even if some hard stuff comes up, I will not lose everything that I've gained.
This doesn't mean I get a free ride. Friendships only last if you take good care of them. And that's the fear really, that I'll wreck things somehow. And the really bad thing about that kind of fear -- of wrecking things, or becoming tiresome, or doing or saying the wrong thing -- is that it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I will hold myself away or back to stay safe, or I will be tentative or reserved trying to measure and edit my words so I don't say the wrong thing or to make sure that what I say is funny, brilliant or amazingly insightful. I know this holding back can make people feel uncomfortable or like I don't really like them when it's all just the opposite -- they are SOOOO important to me that I think I will never forgive myself if I hurt them or make them angry or worst of all -- bore them.
I need to take some lessons from Java who is anything but reserved, self-conscious, or worried.
When she meets someone she likes, it's completely obvious.
As is her utter joy.
She never worries that she might appear silly.
She is just herself, in all her glorious Javaness.
What Sue said about "a lot of times I'm just me". Well, that's the best thing to be, isn't it?