The best advice I got in college was to pretend I was another person- give that person advice, and then take it myself. I have rewritten this opening sentence a bunch of times because it sounds crazy.
For some reason it is easier to give advice to others. Within our own minds it seems we are conflicted. We often are battling guilt, what if questions, other doubt, and worst case scenarios. Meanwhile advice for others rolls off our tongues. If I don’t follow the same advice I would give others when I am in the same situation then it’s a form of self-hatred. If you know something is not good for you and you do it anyway it is like drinking poison. Let’s kick guilt to the curb. Where was guilt born? If we aren’t hurting someone else emotionally or physically why does guilt take up so much head space? I struggle with guilt everyday and I don’t even know how most of it got there. Are we a society that just makes each other feel bad for having fun?
There is this fantastic philosophy out there that you can do anything you put your mind to. I still believe this but I often pray for the right gurus to come along and teach me. With the right teachers mastering something can be thrilling.
The term going with the flow was taught to me in a different way today. My mentor said to me, “be the water on the rocks”. If you want something really bad and it’s not coming together reassess where your life is at in that moment. Maybe that desire isn’t serving you. She told me that is the ego trying to force something that isn’t meant to be.
The theme of my last few posts have been trying to find this balance between making things happen and letting them happen. It feels like if we set a vision of excellence and do our best to execute we should feel really good about our effort. Trying to master something is like being on the right path to gathering resources. The very concept of mastering something means that you are never finished. You always have something else to do. You can get really close but you have to keep going. Your ambition, your passion, and drive simply have to be challenged again in order for you to be molded into an even greater master.
It’s okay if what you thought your life was going to be doesn’t come true. Maybe if it came true, it wouldn’t have been all that you imagined it would be. Maybe just by going for it, you had all the right conversations with the right people. Maybe just by going for it, you felt so much joy you could barely handle it. What I’m realizing is that our job is to follow our heart’s desire. As soon as it becomes a burden or is not serving us, drop it and shift direction like water on the rocks.
We are meant to feel joy and experience abundance all of the time. I keep saying this because I myself am trying to still master this concept. I have been coaching myself moment to moment to receive joy in its fullest form. “You deserve this. I am worthy. Let joy in.”. I played basketball for eight years and have two championships under my belt. I think my basketball coaches would be really happy to hear I developed a motivating voice!
So my conflicting philosophies have found some middle ground:
1) We find the balance between making things happen and letting things happen with grace. Grace helps do a tango between the two. Moments in tangos have slower parts and sharper parts. The music guides you. I wonder what thing in life the music represents in this metaphor. For me it’s god and the communities I belong to.
2) We have to shift gears if things don’t work out. If we trust that everything is rigged in our favor it will allow us to enjoy the life we have instead of mourning the life we thought we would have.
3) We should do everything in our power to get what we want. The key phrase is “in our power”. There is so much we can’t control. If I do everything in my power and it still doesn’t come true I have nothing to feel regret about. At a certain point I guess we just have to surrender and let other people come 50% of the way.
I think we struggle to follow our own advice sometimes because when it comes to ourselves we have a built in blindness. Our fear is so close to us that it serves as blinders. Maybe the blindness is built in because we are all connected. Compassion for others is the best mirror. Compassion for ourselves is the most outstanding subject to figure out and live by. I hope you find OUTSTANDING ways to be kind to yourself because you are so worth it and so am I. I hope you find ways to sustain self-love and kindness because I cannot be the only one who is looking.