I wonder how often the person we are is the person we aspire to be?
Many of us strive to create a life and an expression of ourselves we can be proud of.
But what if we can’t?
And what if our sense of wellbeing is bound to the degree to which we are or aren’t that person?
I’ve had times when I thought I was on the right track, or at least facing in the right direction. But recently I’ve had to admit to myself: things are not going all that well, and this is a patter.
This wouldn’t be so bad in itself. Of course we all have setbacks, we all struggle from time to time, and we all experience moments when life seems to turn against us.
But what if this experience is pointing to a deeper, more painful truth? What if the state of things now is an accurate indicator of the state of things to be?
Right now I’m facing the reality of mounting evidence that I don’t have the character or aptitude to be that person to which I aspire.
It’s hard to take. I’ve based most of my adult life on a sense that we can evolve, that we can overcome adversity, that with hard enough work, or by taking a risk, our efforts shall be rewarded.
That’s a narrative we’ve been fed often enough — from the American Dream, to my daily Facebook feed of coaches and influencers. But what if it’s just not true?
It’s a tough pill to swallow for anyone who aspires to something greater than where they’re at right now.
Hard work doesn’t always pay off. Usually you won’t get that break. Maybe you don’t have enough resilience to keep going. Maybe you don’t have the patience to become a master. Perhaps your lack of mental health will sabotage everything you try. Illness or injury might scupper your dreams.
I don’t mean to bring everyone down. Promise.
I actually think there is a deeper lesson here, one we’d be wise to learn.
Though we’re often told to have courage and go for our dreams, what if the greatest courage is found in accepting everything as it is right now?
That includes the things you’re ashamed of. That includes all your failures. That includes the things you may never have. That includes the sadness all of this entails.
Surely the bravest, most incredible thing anyone can do is to simply to accept things as they are.
Then what does that feel like? It hurts, right? But look a little closer. Try. What if you could accept it all? Now how does that feel? And where can you go from here?
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ~ Seneca