It is painful. Taxing. Heart-rendering. Wonderful. Beautiful. Sad. Hard. Joygiving. It is a lot of things...what it is never, is easy.
But lately I feel like I am being given yet another gift...that of seeing how far I have come, while still seeing where I need to change, grow and move toward the light. Today, while pointing out the glaring deficiencies of others, I am acutely aware of my own. I see my own unwillingness to bend, to stretch and instead issue condemnations towards others. But the gift today is that I cannot take your inventory and not also have that own glaring defect within my soul lit up like a Midway grand prize winner. I see it in you, and I see it in me.
Today I see that we are all just walking each other home. We are trying our best to be better versions of ourselves while we stumble in the labyrinth of our own pain soaked hearts and fear filled minds. We all want to be loving, kind, gracious versions of ourselves but each of us, far too often, finds a lesser person than we wish standing in the situs of our decisions and attendant actions.
The growth is that I can be both at the same time. Fear ridden and befuddled while growing toward the light. I didn’t know that I could do both at the same time. I didn’t know. But today I see myself in the moment and the day, feeling like I am doing my best to pause when agitated or when doubtful and allowing something other than my own panic, dread or fear to take the wheel. Pausing brings something other than what I have...it brings love and light and compassion to a place where none existed before...
Growth is not inevitable. Growth takes work, a lot of fucking work. A renewed envelopment of all the broken, fragmented pieces of ourselves into one whole, whole. Trusting that this time, this version can do better...and so we do. Not all at once, not forever changed, just altered a little more toward the person we would like to be instead of the person we have always been.
Growth is available to us all but it is only those who labor well that seem to make any real progress. Changing is hard amidst the cacophony of our ego, always desperately trying to cling to some idea, some belief that it is really everyone else and we are just fine as we are...
Pema Chodron says this:
“You are perfect just as you are...and you could use a little work”
And that seems to be the sweet spot, the place where you can love yourself as you are, the perfectly imperfect current evolving version of you, while you stay committed to growing toward the next higher version of you that is always available if you are so bold and daring as to do the work. To lean farther into the direction of who you want to be, and then commit to go there, moment after moment. Day after day. With no promise whatsoever that you ever arrive at anyplace other than who you are.
Growth is its own reward...really. Because the view on our way up, is the best part of life. Watching yourself, your journey, your assent into who you truly are the real purpose of every life. Be you, that is all.