I'm not okay. You're not okay. And that's okay. Elizabeth Kϋbler RossMy eldest daughter and I were talking about her frustration with moving back to Calgary and some of the challenges she faces with 'getting around'. Calgary is not a non-vehicle friendly city. It's a spread out, wide-open spaces kind of place where distance between point 'a' and point 'b' is regularly measured in double digit miles and/or kilometres. It's also a place where public transportation can be slow, very slow.
Her sister has a car which once we get it back on the road will make getting about easier for her -- but the deal is she has to drive her sister around as well until she gets her license back. And, as you can imagine, between two sisters, no matter the love or closeness, there can be some dissension when it comes to the balancing of what's an acceptable limit/parameter for picking up, dropping off, couriering around.
And so... our conversations have centered around acceptance. Acceptance of what is, reality, 'the now', the 'truth'.
"I only moved back to help her out," she said after commenting about having to spend an evening driving her sister around.
"Is that true?" I ask patiently (honest, I was patient).
"Yes," she replied adamantly.
"Is it 100% true?" I ask again in my best Byron Katie impersonation.
"Well..." and the truth pours out.
And it's all about acceptance.
Of what is. What isn't. What could have been if only... What might have been if I'd done b instead of a, c instead of d. It's tinged with fear and uncertainty, exasperation and frustration. It's filled with what is real.
In the now there is only one reality. And it is the one we often have the most difficulty accepting.
In the now, there are no excuses. No places to be instead of where I'm at.
In the now, there is only acceptance.
It's a tough place to be, in the now. It demands our best, in whatever form that takes when we are being real. It doesn't require our perfection. In fact, more often than not, it takes our imperfection to be in the now.
Imperfection doesn't come to humans easily. We tend to think it's not ok to show emotion. It's not ok to feel 'negative' values in life's circumstances. We tend to believe we need to achieve the, "I am perfect, there's nothing else for me to do," kind of perfection in order to be 'human'.
To be perfectly human we only need to relinquish our need to be anyone or anything other than who we are, however that manifests in any moment.
It's ok to feel irritated. It's ok to feel petty and jealous and angry and sad. It's ok to feel these things.
Challenge is, we tend to believe feeling these things makes us these things. And that's just not who we are.
We are perfectly human in all our human imperfection.
They are simply emotions passing through.
And that's ok.
It's when we get stuck in our emotions that we tend to feel frustrated, angry, upset with not being ok.
and not being 'ok', is a-ok in my book.
Not being ok means, I'm ok with who I am, how I am, what I am, where I'm at.
I'm not rubbing up against gravity, trying to pull myself out of where ever I'm at. I'm in the flow. Letting life move through me, with me, of me. I am whole, complete, centered, grounded. I am ok, just the way I am.
And when I am ok with me just the way I am, all is ok in my world.
In his book, A Path with Heart, Jack Kornfield writes,
"We fragment our life and divide ourselves from it when we hold on to ideals of perfection. In ancient China, the Third Zen patriarch taught that "True enlightenment and wholeness arise when we are without anxiety about nonperfection." The body is not perfect, the mind is not perfect, our feelings and relationships will certainly not be perfect. Yet to be without anxiety about nonperfection, to understand that, as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross puts it, "I'm not okay, you're not okay, and that's okay," brings wholeness and true joy, an ability to enter all the compartments of our life, to feel every feeling, to live in our body, and to know a true freedom. ...The purity that we long for is not found in perfecting the world. True purity is found in the heart that can touch all things, enfold all things, and include all things in its compassion."
I borrowed the quote from my blog friend Diane Walkers blog, Contemplative Photography where she posted it yesterday. She's the one reading Kornfield. She's the one who inspired my thinking on being 'ok', and, I'm ok with all of that.
Being not ok's, ok. Being not ok with being not ok is ok too!
It's all ok!