Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
I am a determined individual, always have been. I remember when my brother and I were children and he was just learning to ride his bike around our grandparent’s house, he dared me to beat his one lap! I went around not once- but five times. My grandfather told that story over and over how my little legs were shaking as I willed my way around the house each lap. He was so proud, he saw my determination and will to push past any obstacle and it was something he admired. In many ways it has done me well to be the determined perfection pursuing woman, but in many ways it has been my worst enemy. The partner to perfection seems to be worry. My paternal grandmother would say “worrying is a sin you know” which then made me worry about sinning by worrying…!
This past couple of weeks has been worrisome to me wondering if I am fulfilled, is my life perfect enough? My kids refer to me as #thefunkiller, they love their Dad and wish they could always be with him, much of this is my being the disciplinarian in the family dynamic, I know this, but it’s not always easy to take. So the snowball starts down the hill, I’m not liked, I am alone, I am overweight, I am not doing as well as I could at work, etc… the little negative minions in my head taking over. I am supposed to be perfect! Right?There is one of the biggest pitfalls in our lives “supposed to” “should” these words send us into a downward vortex of negativity. See when we use the “shoulds” we are raving against the rain, in other words we are saying what “is” shouldn’t be when we have no control over that very thing. I am alone for instance – if I say to myself I “shouldn’t” be alone … cry cry then where do I go from there?? I am alone that is a fact and at that moment it cannot be changed. We must change our language to say “I am sad I am alone, but I know it will not always be this way” or “I wish I wasn’t alone but I am, so I will make the best of it for now.” Wanting everything to be perfect makes life way to difficult and in the end really keeps me from getting the very things we desire.. Have you ever been there? When we live in this space instead of a place of acceptance and peace we end up being a nervous wreck.
Here are a few things I use to snap out of it.
1) Being a perfect human means failing, yep failing, learning, and then moving on. Jack Canfield in his book “The Success Principles “ speaks to the idea that the line to success is a straight one when in reality it’s a turn to the left oops, step back, forward, turn right oops turn back and go forward. Basically it’s a zig-zag where we learn each wrong step until the fail our way to success!
2) I am not alone in my imperfection! When I think of the great characters of faith I remember that David slept with Bathsheba (and had her husband killed!) Peter was the first disciple to proclaim “You are the son of God” and then he denies his Lord three times very soon after. YET! Jesus says Peter you are the rock on which I build my church!
3) Give yourself a break. I make a place in my heart to forgive other’s shortcomings regularly why not for myself? Seems that’s the least I can do. Give yourself the same love and forgiveness you give to the others around you.
4) Count your blessings and your accomplishments. We are so fast to point out our shortcomings, but how often do we give ourselves credit? Stop and think of the areas you have succeeded in! For instance, I am overweight, but I have been exercising regularly. I am taking control of that issue and doing something to make myself better! Focus on the positive.
May the love of Christ fill you with warmth and comfort these days and in all the days to come.