Life takes practice.
Although I try to keep track of the lessons I learn, as I endeavor to apply them in the present moment and in the daily situations of life, sometimes I fail. Spectacularly even. Often, I come up short. There is no way to sugar coat it, rationalize it, or blame it way. I fail to be the person I know I can be, the person I know I am deep down inside.
For the longest time I beat myself up over these failings, playing the situations over and over and over again in my mind, as if by some magic a different outcome could present itself. I wondered all along why I wasn’t the “good” person I wanted to be, and what it was going to take for me to ever get it right.
I was in limbo somewhere between Ursula LeGuin and the Indigo Girls:
The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself.
—Ursula K. LeGuin
How long 'til my soul gets it right, Can any human being ever reach that kind of light …
—Galileo by Indigo Girls
Trying to forget the times I had fallen short seemed to me like taking the easy way out. I needed to do something, as if some sort of absolution could be achieved. I always try to apologize and make amends for the times I have fallen short, but that still didn’t feel like enough. So, what is “enough?”
Ask the right question and time stands still.
What would be enough? What would make it right? Nothing. Nothing was going to change what happened, or what I hadn’t seen. Nothing. No-thing. No amount of doing.
All I could do now was to pray my universal-in-case-of-emergency-one-fits-all prayer.
Let be. Reminding myself that nothing can change the past—it’s over, it’s done.
Let go. Reminding myself that no amount of perseverating will change how I feel.
Let in. Reminding myself to let in, to let in, to let in …
But remind myself to let in—what? What am I supposed to let in after failing so miserably?
Love and light.
Life is about perspective.
When I fall short, when I have not been the person I know I can be, berating myself achieves nothing. Holding on to the negativity accomplishes nothing. They only serve to dim my internal light that shows me the way.
What I need to do instead is create a space where more love and light can be present, showing myself compassion that creates a space for love and light to fill me, giving me the presence to continuing trying, filling me with hope, showing me the way to the person I know I am.
Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some compassion. We are all works in progress, doing the very best we can right where we are and with what we have. Falling short does not make us imperfect, it makes us human.
Let in the love and the light.