“The world is vast enough for us all to have room to be wrong.” Arno Schmidt
Yes. Exactly. Well said. Make a note of it. Remember it. Try to discover humility in the truth of it. This is where empathy begins.
… is useless. Mostly.
Not because I don’t have any (though, like most worthy notions in this world, it is borrowed from elsewhere) … but because I rarely apply it. It exists primarily as “good ideas in my head.”
But a good idea is good idea. Right?
I have long said that one of the most important things we have to accomplish in life is to “Learn to like living in your head.” If being with yourself sucks you are in trouble because that is where you will be spending your entire corporeal existence.
As French dramatist Jean Anouilh put it, “Our entire life consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.” Or as Buddha said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
It seems so easy to dwell on what we don’t like about ourselves: imperfections of the body, insufficient accomplishments, inadequate wealth, failed relationships, morally ambiguous choices … the list goes on and on. We don’t focus enough on forgiving and accepting ourselves, which is pretty much always the only place from which we may be ready to implement positive change.
Be your own best friend. Remind yourself that you have frequently loved others to the best of your ability. Remind yourself that you are loved, that you possess talents and positive attributes and, most importantly, the capacity to choose to be your “best self” the next time you face a choice. Which is pretty much every second of every day.
What will you tell yourself about yourself today? Will you point out every bad thing, beat yourself into a bloody useless pulp? Or will you spur yourself onward to a better day than you had yesterday? And on into tomorrow and the rest of your life …
The choice is yours. And mine.
As we look toward 2015, I urge you (and myself) to choose the path of inspiration.