You Make Me Better...
Someone important to me recently said that he heard that in some native cultures instead of saying thank you, they say “you make me better”. I liked that. Not that I am going to stop saying thank you...just that I like the concept of letting the people who are in your life know that you feel like their presence in your life makes you a better human, a better you.
I have a lot of those people and also some animals...I know for a fact that my pets make me a better person. They show me where I am short, irritated and cross. And their unconditional love and acceptance, humbles me when I am acting like an ass. They, more than anyone else on the planet, turn my bad mood into a humbled smile and an alter a bad attitude and mood quicker than anyone else.
My kids have this same effect although I think my reaction time is slower. The kids definitely show me where I am stuck and lacking so I can see where I am off. They help me endeavor to change myself for all of our benefit in short order. To be clear, I fail at this a lot. But their presence in my life helps me to always keep trying and failing but always making even small progress towards a better me.
I would go so far to say that at this point in my life, all the people involved in my life right now are people who make me better. If you are in my life today, then it is because you make me a better person. Your love, friendship, familial relationship, contact is still occurring because your presence makes me a better version of myself.
This was not always the case. In my younger years I was surrounded with people who were broken and damaged just like me and we were all flailing all about like rats desperately trying to get off the sinking ship, sometimes we cooperated, but more often, we went after each other, stood on the weakest one’s back in order to survive ourselves. It wasn’t pretty. I am not proud of the people I stepped on in my mad scramble for survival or at least what I thought was going to help me, it often didn’t. In fact, often my solution was the worst thing I had going!
Today, most of those people have been removed, through the passage of time or a more active elimination. The people who are part of my daily life today, do in fact make me a better me. And I hope, sincerely, that my presence in their life makes them better also. I hope that I am not currently in someone’s life where I am just a menace or because they are too afraid to let me go. Seriously, if I do not add to your life and help you become a better you, please, please, please for the love of all that is holy, please let me go. I know that someone else will fill the void my absence creates and then you will be better for it. And that is all I ever want for anyone, for us all to be blessed with people in our lives that make us better versions of ourselves.
In the end, I believe that this is what life is really all about. Lesson after lesson and teacher after teacher, here to help us become the best version of ourselves that we possibly can. My life is evidence of getting it all very wrong for a long time, and then being given the best worst gift and having to learn it all over again and take advantage of my opportunity to do it better and different. And so it continues today...
Everyday I wake up with a sincere and earnest desire to give this new day my all and to grow always toward the light. Any time in shadow is here to help me or someone else move towards the light. Towards that better version of ourselves that can only be accessed and honed if we work at it minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day.
Each day I am given the raw materials for a happy life regardless of the circumstances I might find. I can be joyous while the circumstances of the minute make me feel like it is all failing, it is all falling down, it is not going well. These moments are actually the best I have ever had, because they wake me up and show me where I am stuck, in pain, hurting or lost. And then I can take contrary action and access a new peace, or my version of it anyway. I have to dance with the bad wolf, the one that tells me that I am nothing, you are unimportant to truly appreciate the dances with the good wolf where I am filled with a light and comfort that tells me I am enough just as I am while also, always, needing a little work.
So I will say thank you for making me better. All of you, each one of you that is in my life. Thank you for showing me the way to a better me. Sometimes your betterment is incredibly painful, but I know always that there can be no rainbow without some rain. I must always persevere through the storm, real or imagined, to access the lessons. I am going to keep going and striving every day to make this one better, this daily version of myself better. And one of the best, most amazing things I can do, is to surround myself and fill my life with people who challenge me, love me, cause me to think and grow, to become a better version of me.