My Lesson This Month

By talina{ZAR}

I have a check-in group of close buddies. We share our goals and struggles and successes via email, as we all work to live healthier lifestyles. I’m learning WAY more than I did before I participated in this group, because I’m doing more reflection through their eyes, and through the process of sharing my information, instead of keeping it all in my head.

Two months ago, my lesson was about keeping my eye on the big picture, instead of getting bogged down in the daily details. Go for the batting average!! Got it!

My lesson for last month was about learning that doing more isn’t always the best solution. Sometimes, the appropriate action is to do less. And DOING less doesn’t mean that I’m WORTH less. Got it!

Well, let the learning process continue!

My lesson for this month is about knowing that my best is acceptable. And that what constitutes “my best” is a moving object, because “my best” is not the same this week as it was last week. And will most likely be different than next week.

Last week I faced HUGE challenges, as I worked 12- to 16-hour days on a special project. Great for making money; horrible for getting exercise and walking my dogs. This week I’m facing challenges with weather-related depression and lethargy. Great for eating fewer calories; horrible for motivating myself.

So, this week, my best is walking my dogs every day, because I want to be outside as much as possible. Eating less than my allowed calories (even if it is because of lethargy). And not giving a fuck about whether or not my teeth get brushed after lunch. And skipping cardio exercise, while still doing strength training.

Okay, so when compared against my goals, my best doesn’t look good enough. It looks downright pitiful. Until I got this email.

“Doing your best at this exact moment is stellar!” – [my friend]

What? Doing my best is stellar? Are you sure? Cuz my goal sheet says otherwise.
That’s when I realized that my friend has something my goal sheet doesn’t – compassion.

Compassion allows us to recognize that each of us doing our best is not only good enough – it’s stellar! Doing our best is the absolute highest we can ask of ourselves. If I can’t see that as stellar, I need to adjust my thinking. And so I am working on that. I recognize my goal sheet for what it is – a piece of paper. When I created that paper, I fully believed I could achieve each one of those goals – and I could have, if life had stayed exactly the same.

Reality, on the other hand, has dictated a different path. Life didn’t stay the same, and my goals now seem unattainable. Well, some of them, anyway. What’s more important, though, is that the goals now look LESS IMPORTANT. I started the month thinking that attaining my goals was the important thing.

Now, thanks to my friend, I realize that doing my best is the important thing. While it’s nice to achieve my goals, it’s really just a way to measure myself. And if I don’t add compassion into the mix when I’m measuring myself, then I’m doing myself a disservice.

So, I may or may not achieve all the goals written on my goal sheet this month. I really will try to do so. However, if I don’t, my world will not come crashing down around my ears. Right here and now, I admit to being fully human. I accept that being human (rather than mechanical) means that I am unpredictable, that people and circumstances around me are unpredictable, and that life isn’t always going to be an exciting ride. Sometimes, the ride’s going to be bumpy, and I’m going to need to adjust to the changing terrain.

So, today, I am struggling with recognizing my best as stellar. Until I can truly hold that belief in my heart, I’m going to borrow my friend’s faith, and know that she sees my best as stellar, and that’s good enough for me right now.

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