My first post!  Only 18 days late!  This, like many other things, was supposed to start on January 1st, 2014.  Right around September, I start pushing all the things I’d like to do, have to do and down right must do until the New Year.  Then I push that until February because of, you know, the holidays just ended, kids got sick, it snowed, and snowed, and snowed.  Really I should just start calling February 1st, my New Year.  Boy, do I beat myself up over this!  I used to be “better”.

The funny thing is, I never used to be a procrastinator.  I was a  “get it done”, “there’s no time like the present” kind of gal.  There was an urgency to things.  Like time was running out and I had to get it all in.  I was one of “those” people, a “list” people.  I had a new list everyday, taken from the master To Do List and I felt a huge sense of satisfaction (read: high) from crossing off things from that list.  Seriously, I would sometimes put the most insignificant things on the list just to cross them off.

5.  shower

Funny because the older I get, and time is actually running out, I don’t find the urgency in anything anymore.  “There is always tomorrow” “where’s the fire?” has become my mantra.  I know I sound ancient.  You know how older people sit around and look at us, their younger counterparts in amazement of our hurryedness?    This is not in small part due to our bodies slowing down, our work and family responsibilities tapering off but I think it is mostly due to the realization and surrendering to the fact that all the rushing around is pointless.  It kills the enjoyment of the present moment always trying to get to the next.  You need to slow down, be present in the moment right now to actually experience it to its fullest.  To find the joy in it.  And isn’t that we want the most?  To find as much joy here as possible?

Another thing that happens the older you get, you tend to start accepting who you are more.  When we are younger, we are always trying to get to who we are going to be and not just enjoy who we “be” at this moment.  This habit takes a long time to break, if ever.  We are constantly on a quest to the better me.  God, is this exhausting!  No wonder we give this up after we have been at it for so long!  40 or 50 years or so…

Pemas’ quote says this so beautifully, that this is an act of futility.  There is no better you.  There is no such thing as “better”.  There is just you.  Exactly as you are in this moment in time.  We beat ourselves up so much to be this word – better.  We waste so much time and effort trying not to be who we actually are.  Right now.  We want to better.  This makes it hard to enjoy the ride of who you are right now.   We can’t see the beauty in us now no matter what the circumstances or circumference of our waistline.  Things might be wonderful and we can’t enjoy it because it might go away.  Things might be awful and of course, we have to make it better.  This is such a huge thing to get if you get it.  It is so freeing.  There is no better you.  There is just you exactly as you are right now and that person is okay.

Always reaching for a better you robs you of blessing and loving the who you are right now.  Waiting to love yourself and appreciate yourself until you are thinner, smarter, richer, more successful, your skin clears up – until you are “better” is not loving yourself now and possibly forever because what if those betterments never materialize.    In fact, until you love yourself no matter what, right now, those things may come but will soon go.  This is because loving and accepting yourself is vital to being able to receive all the good the universe wants to bestow to you.  Thinking you deserve good things is a prerequisite to keeping them.  If you keep pushing off deserving until you are “better”- ie.  I will find the perfect mate once I lose 20 lbs. – then you are essentially pushing your good away to a future moment that may or may not materialize.  You are telling the universe you don’t deserve your good right now, well, at least until you are better.

So the question becomes – why can’t you love and accept yourself as is?  Starting with yourself and then reaching out to everyone and everything.  Once we can give ourselves a break, once we can treat ourselves with love and kindness, once we can accept and approve of ourselves just at the weight we are, the financial situation we are in, the health we are in, the relationship we are in or not – then we can finally do that with others.  Let them be okay being themselves.

The reason we judge and find it so difficult to accept people and situations exactly as they are and not as we think they should be is because we can’t do this with ourselves.  If we hold ourselves up to such an ideal, such a standard of what is the way or not the way to live and do things, then we certainly aren’t going to let anyone else get away with anything less.  As Jack Nicholson’s character says so matter of factly in his movie of the same name, “What if this is as good as it gets?”  What if this is the best me that there will ever be?  Can I live with that?  Can I surrender to that?  Can I be ok with that?

This year, start there.  Forget the resolutions you made to stop buying shoes or eat more kale.    Each day, resolve yourself to who you are right now, what your circumstances are at this moment, what your faults and strengths are today – and live with that.  Stop beating yourself up all the time to be better.  As Pema says, “you don’t get that kind of encouragement very often.”  See what happens then.  See what develops when you just “abandon all hope of a better you.”  Maybe you could find peace just as you are.  Maybe you could find joy just as life is.  What if that is the point?  What if just living life as it is at this very moment even if it is wretched is all you have to do?  What if we really have to “do” very little?  As Mark Darcy said to Brigitte Jones, “I like you just as you are.”  What if we could say that to ourselves everyday this year?  Let the hope of a “better” you drop and the you that is here and now shine.

“The truth is”, says Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, “everything will be okay as soon as you okay with everything.  And that’s the only time everything will be okay.”

xo, maeve