“Life’s a journey, not a destination.”
While that happens to be an Aerosmith quote from the song “Amazing” we have all heard this same sentiment in a multitude of other ways. Stories. Songs. Fables. Our societies and cultures are inundated with this simple truth. I call it a “truth” because that is exactly what it is.
However, while we read these words, say them to our loved ones, sing along to them, and understand the value of them, we don’t always apply them correctly to our lives. We judge ourselves too harshly. We punish ourselves for not being perfect, for not having already reached that destination. We hold ourselves up to the ideals of what we think we are supposed to be doing, saying, feeling, thinking and we forget that we should be enjoying the road towards those ideals.
Perhaps it isn’t always that we forget, but rather that we don’t think we are worthy of ever reaching that perfect state of being… at peace with ourselves, happy with every aspect of our lives.
I am very guilty of this. I am quick to forgive others for their mistakes (though, there are some wrongs from my past that I will never forgive) but I am very slow to forgive myself, and for some things in my life I know I will never forgive myself. (I’m sharing a story here on STMND in a couple weeks that discusses one of the mistakes from my childhood that I will probably never forgive myself for.) This judgment of self leaves me seething with anger and that turns into a vicious cycle where I further berate myself for my inability to control my emotions, thus amplifying the loathing and disgust.
It’s a hard thing to live constantly under that strain. And, I’m so very tired. My thoughts are tired. My body is tired. I need to learn to let go.
In the spirit of embracing the truth of the importance of the journey, I’m going to try and come to terms with a new mantra for my life: I’m not perfect, but I’m working towards being a better person, and that’s exactly as it should be.
It will be a struggle, and I’d like to invite you to join me on this path so we can support each other.
Are you quicker to forgive others than you are yourself?
Are you clasping painfully to some mistakes from your past?
Do you just need a new approach to your life?
Why don’t you take a minute this holiday season and set a new mantra for your life that also reflects these truths…
We are not supposed to be perfect.
We are allowed to make mistakes.
We should enjoy the adventure of living every day.
Some days we will make giant leaps towards being better individuals, better husbands and wives, better parents and children, and better members of society. And some days we will fall further than we knew possible. And that is okay.
Will you join me on this journey? What will your mantra be?