Sunday, November 27, 2011

Three Wishes. No, Four. OK, Maybe Just One...

"Forgiveness is not much of a concept without something for which to forgive and be forgiven. Healing has no meaning in the absence of illness. Peace is no treasure at all to those who have known no war and no strife. Saying hello has no joy in it without the saying of good-bye."
--Robert Benson
I have three wishes for myself.

I would really like to stop being so damned hard on myself. I’m so tired of it, and it’s just not working for me anymore. The payoff I used to get (of getting to be the victim) isn’t something I want anymore, even in the short term. So now, it’s just painful.

You’d think that would be easy to change, right? Well, it’s proving to be a little more challenging than I originally thought. I’m not sure how to work hard and live my life well in an entirely positive way, where I’m not beating myself up at every turn. What I’m afraid of is that I’ll slip into lazy-ville. It’s so easy to do, after all. If I’m not working hard, then I must be lazy.

Extremes… black and white… don’t exist in reality. Life is colorful and yes, there is even gray mixed in as well.

So how do I find the balance?

After all, this is a life-long habit I’m trying to break.

The other thing I’d like to do is directly related to not being so hard on myself. I’d really like to state an intention, and then once I recognize that intention as feeling right and good—follow through with it.

No more balking, no more fear, no more hem-hawing, no more doubting myself, no more trash-talking myself and/or my abilities or worse—my self worth, no more not trusting me.

In other words—I want to cut the drama and just do it.

You might have ascertained by now that I’m what’s referred to as a bit of a “head case”, meaning I spend a lot of time analyzing myself, my actions, my inactions, my thoughts, my feelings, etc.

In fact, and I think I’ve mentioned this here before, but the rather amazing therapist I saw last year during the heat of the divorce said I’m the most self-analytical person she’d ever met.

That… says a lot coming from a therapist.

So, getting out of my own head is not only something I want, it’s something I need. It’s something I absolutely crave.

Yoga helps me with this. If I’m not fully present during a class, then I can’t do any of the poses. I can’t even come close. And the only time I can even attempt yoga at home is when I’m fully present.

What I’m noticing, though, is that I also really limit myself. Yoga practice has really brought that to the forefront of my awareness. I’ll sometimes automatically swear off a pose just because I don’t think I can do it.

So, the third thing I’d like for myself is to kick my self-imposed limits to the curb. I’d like to set myself free from the bondage and chains I’ve put myself in.

I’ve worked really hard on all three things over the past year and a half, in big areas of my life. And I’ve done well with shedding fear, limits, and being overly critical of myself in big, important ways.

It's the day-to-day where I need a little work. What I’ve recognized is that the habits of succumbing to fear, being overly critical of myself, and limiting myself, are well-engrained in me. And, like anything, a lifetime of practice doing something a certain way is not broken with a single monumental action to the counter. After that action, it takes diligence, practice, and effort.

And, one other very important ingredient…


Most of all, I would like to learn how to give myself grace…

“Grace means more than gifts. In grace something is transcended, once and for all overcome. Grace happens in spite of something; it happens in spite of separateness and alienation. Grace means that life is once again united with life, self is reconciled with self. Grace means accepting the abandoned one. Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation. It transforms guilt to trust and courage. The word grace has something triumphant in it.”
 - Yrjo Kallinen 
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.
 - Saint Francis of Assisi

So, how exactly am I going to do that, you ask?

In the great words of Philip Henslowe, as quoted from one of my favorite movies, Shakespeare in Love: "I don't know. It's a mystery."

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