I felt like crap about myself, and I wanted to feel better.
I didn’t like most of what I had created in my life, and I wanted to create something better.
And from this place, the thought arose: if I want to feel better, and I want better things to happen, I need to be better.
I looked at all my mistakes, and all of the behavior I felt shame about, and yeah, I just wanted to be better.
I wanted to be a better wife, mother, sister, friend. I needed to be a better cook, teacher, coach, artist. It even infiltrated my self-care and spiritual home; I needed to be a better meditator, a better yogi, a better Lover, better at feeling good. I needed to be a better refugee of my childhood.
But somewhere in me, this wise child rebelled. She said, “I’m good! I am so, so, SO good. You don’t even know the beginning of my goodness! My always, every way goodness, wholeness, lovely lovely me!”
I wish I could tell you I listened…
…but I didn’t. Instead, I tried to be better. And it was painful. Even joyful practices like swimming, painting and meditating became painful. Taking care of myself was painful because it was with intent to kill.
I sentenced myself to death. Most of all, I sentenced a death to the part of myself that would judge me so hard. Judging my judgement. Resisting my resistance. Hating my hate. Trying to control my controlling reaction.
It was a miserable few months in the underworld, pushing a rock up the hill over and over, only to have the same lousy feeling and same lousy circumstances.
But Life is miraculous, and plants push up through the tiniest cracks in concrete.
The voice of my deepest knowing is reflected in the ones who keep their heart open to me, who know me and accept me completely, the courageous lovers of Me. With songs and walks in the wood, with shared meals and Love. Slowly, my resistance to myself weakened.
A friend asked me, “Why do you meditate?” I reluctantly admitted, “Lately, because I want to be a better person.” But that’s not meditation, that’s a twenty minute jail sentence: sit very still, and very quiet, and try not to be what you are.
Truly, I meditate because I love to sit in silence and feel the infinite Love of God. I swim to feel my body move and the water against my skin. I sing for the pleasure of my vibrating cells. I paint to enjoy the colors of my experience that I have no thoughts for.
I could say that feeling good makes me a better person, but right now, I don’t give a shit. I just want to feel good.