The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them. Jim RohnI have, for as long as I can recall, always wanted to 'know myself'. To understand me. To love me in all my many complexities. Even as a child, I can remember feeling like there was something wrong because who I thought I was inside, who I wanted to be, was expressed so differently on the outside. I don't know how old I was when I set the goal, but it has always been my desire to be aligned from the inside out with who I am within me reflecting who I am in the world around me through love and joy and harmony.
There have been in my lifetime a lot of goals that I have set and achieved. A lot of goals that I have set and let fall by the wayside. But running a marathon, climbing mountains, writing a book, none of these have held the same joy and satisfaction and sense of mystery as working arduously on deepening my understanding of me, and aligning that understanding with everything I do and say and act out in the world.
It has been an amazing journey of delving deep within while climbing high above the fracas of my mind telling me to 'quit it'. You're okay, my mind would chatter as I felt the dissonance of acting out against my desire to be authentic, whole and complete.
Stop being so hard on yourself, my inner beast would urge in those moments where I knew that what I had done, or was doing, was lesser than the sum total of my parts, lesser than who I wanted to be.
This goal, of being my most amazing, authentic, beautiful and true self has constantly challenged me to act up to my higher good, even when I'm acting out my greatest fears.
And I am grateful.
Because in acting out, I have found the way out of living stuck in the belief, 'I can't change. It's just the way I am.'
It's not -- the way I am when I am being self-defeating, critical, harsh, obstinate, and stubborn. It's not the way I am. It is the way I am behaving. And in my behaviours I find myself again, fighting against the urge to turn up, pay attention, be true to who I am and stay unattached to the outcome.
When my daughters were small I used to tell them -- who you are is a wonderful, beautiful, incredible human being. How you behave is not who you are. You are fundamentally good, right to your core. Behaviour, well sometimes behaviour is not optimal. Sometimes, behaviour is optional. Behaviour can be changed. The wonder of you never changes.
I believe it to my core. We are fundamentally good. We want to achieve greatness. We want to live up to our highest calling. Strive to be our most incredible selves.
And sometimes, we fall down. Not in whom we are, but rather, in what we do to express our most magnificent selves in the world around us.
Yesterday, I wrote to a friend after I'd done something incredibly stupid. "Thank you from your perfectly imperfect perfectly happy with her imperfection friend."
I've come a long way baby!
Being perfect was something I used to think equated with 'being human'. The job was to reach perfection, as if being human was like reaching the summit of a mountain, or running a marathon. I've done both and there was no perfectly perfect way to do either. There was just the route I chose to reach the peak, just the path I took to cross the finish line. And in both cases, there were always surprises on the route, detours on the path that made me rethink where I was going and what I was doing. And when I reached the peak and crossed the finish line, I was perfectly happy right where I was in that moment.
And that's the thing about life. My life. Me.
I am perfectly happy where I am. Perfectly content with who I am, how I am when I let go of perfection and simply fall into all that I am when I am breathing deeply into the sheer joy and wonder of living this moment fearlessly in love with all that I am.
My friend, the one I wrote the thank you note had written me, "don't beat yourself up 'cause you know it's hard to be perfect and so be happy to be the best imperfect".
It is hard to be perfect. And perfection is not my goal... any longer.
For today, I choose to be me. In all my complexities, vagaries, contradictions, ups and downs and ins and outs. I choose to be me, in all my human imperfections, because my imperfections are perfectly perfect for me.
I'm easing up. Easing off the pedal. Steering straight away from needing to find myself on the road to perfection and falling sheer away from the cliff of self-destruction. I am letting go of having to 'be' and surrendering into being me, just the way I am, how I am, in all that I am.
I am letting go of the quest for the perfect answer to me and holding onto the perfect truth for me -- I'm perfect, just the way I am.
The goal isn't to 'be perfect'. The goal is to accept myself, to love myself in all my beauty, warts and all. The goal isn't some far off distant peak. It's right here. In this moment when I open up myself up in wonder and allow the radiance within me to be expressed with love and joy in the world around me.
There is no place called, "Knowing me". There is this place called now where I embrace myself and whisper lovingly and gratefully from the depth of my soul, "What a wonderful world. I'm exactly where I am meant to be. All is well with my soul. All is well with me."