Friday, January 5, 2018

What Giving It Your Best Really Looks Like

Today I feel like poo.  I have a cold. I'm tired, have a massive headache, and it's freezing outside. Like many, I had nothing but the best of intentions for killin' it in the New Year.  I wanted to start it all off with a clean house, clean eating, etc.  Instead I stare at all the crap strewn throughout my living room.  There are Christmas gifts that need put away, my kids bathrobes are on the floor, there is never ending supply of stuffing everywhere from my dog's Christmas toy.  Seriously, how does so much stuffing come from one little stuffed animal??

I sigh and bend to pick up the bathrobes, but instead I grab a blanket and a pillow, wipe some stuffing aside, and set my butt down on the couch and turn on the fireplace.  I just don't have it in me today.  Sure, I can dig deep enough to at least get the living room presentable, but I'm not because I really don't need to.  No one is coming over.  I've got no place to be, and if it bothers anyone in the house that bad, they can pick it up, but that ain't going to happen because they are all playing or relaxing some place else right now.

When we berate ourselves for doing or not doing our best, what we really are doing is judging ourselves, "I'm enough or I'm not enough." This is because we measure doing our best by results. When in reality sometimes our best doesn't always yield the positive results we are looking for right away, and sometimes not at all.  Sometimes we are doing our best, but we are measuring the wrong thing and don't know it at the time because we are so busy in the doing that we don't stop to ask ourselves if the prize is really what we want.

If my New Year's resolution is to find meaningful happiness, I need to shift my perspective.  Lasting happiness has to be found in the process or the journey of life, not from a result.  Think of life like growing a garden. 

We don't judge the garden based on how it grows each day. We take a look over time.  Some days there will be no rain, and our plants will droop and stop growing for a bit.  We don't get upset and blame the garden.  We know it is resting now, preparing to grow when the time is right.

Likewise, when the rain comes, we don't think, "That garden should really be doing something more now.  It doesn't look like it is doing anything important."  We have faith that it is resting, recharging, and gathering the strength it needs to grow bigger and stronger when the sun comes out again.  It can't constantly grow, grow, grow.  That wouldn't be natural.

Sometimes despite what seems like the best circumstances the garden doesn't turn out the way we expected.  So, we try new plants, different plants, or ask our gardening friends for advice.

Sometimes the plant we thought would do the best does the worst, and the one we thought would not grow under these conditions turns out to be the most beautiful.

In our gardens we get to decide what grows and what to weed out, and we must deal with the pests that invade our gardens before they ruin our dreams that we have planted.

Sometimes our gardens need fertilizer. Even the best gardens need help. Sometimes some manure is in order because we all have to roll around in a little crap sometimes to get to the good stuff.

Like a garden you are growing.  If you aren't growing, well then you are dead, and no one likes a dead garden.  You need to rest on rainy days, and grow when your sun is shining.  You need to ask for help sometimes to grow as big and strong as you are capable of growing, and you need to plant a variety of plants to be your best.

This stuff around me will get picked up eventually, and maybe I'll even ask for help.  Meanwhile, I wrote this and that was way more satisfying anyway, and closer to my resolutions than a clean house.  My resolutions and intentions will be there all year to tackle when I'm feeling a little sunnier.

Sure, great results give you a surge of happy, then it fades away. Lasting happiness is about enjoying the journey, rolling with the punches, growing where you are planted, and having faith that what you have planted and nurtured will turn out beautifully.

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