Sometimes I resent having to do so much work
to wake up, to improve, to become better…
Like everyone else, I just want to be happy, healthy,
have a good life, be at peace.
Then it occurs to me
that the work will enable me to create these things
and claim them as mine.
If the good life were handed to me on a silver platter,
could I accept it?
Would I see myself as worthy?
I’m so grateful for the infinitely generous present moment.
No matter how many times my mind goes back to the past
or rushes headlong into the future,
this beautiful present moment
always waits for me right here, right now,
with wide open arms.
I work on the level of my mind
because this is where my experience
begins and ends.
I leave the old behind
and embrace a new promise
of hope, fulfillment, and change.
I can see now that the power rests
within me, always and forever.
There is no reason for fear,
because I cannot fail—
only learn, grow, and become
better than I’ve ever been before.
In an effort to cope
with the overwhelming change
I dropped into a cycle
Working on myself
is something I can control.
If bad things are happening,
it’s because of my mindset,
my perspective needs tweaking,
obviously I haven’t done the right work
or enough of it
for it to count.
There comes a point
when all this work becomes exhausting,
pointless, fruitless, a waste of time.
Then the work becomes trusting,
surrendering, letting go,
opening up to what is,
being right here,
Let me set down this burden
of always trying to be better.
Let me breathe
and love this little creature
that lives within me,
this self that tries so hard to be good.
In meditation tonight
it struck me–
what if I weren’t capable
of believing the thought
that I need to work hard
to become someone else,
What if I just couldn’t
think the thought
that there is something
wrong with me
that needs to be fixed?
What if I knew
that I’m who I’m supposed to be
doing what I’m supposed to be doing
exactly where I need to be
and at the perfect time?
What would happen then?
I don’t think I’d become complacent,
self-satisfied, lazy, or indifferent.
I think the contrary–
that I’d become more engaged,
more caring, more proactive,
more interested in the welfare of others.
It turns out that self-criticism
makes me quite self-absorbed,
opens me up to my connection
with everyone else in the universe.
I owe it to all beings, then,
to drop the story
that there is something wrong with me,
and wake up to the perfection
of this moment.
May the love I cultivate
for the Self within me
free up my power
to be a blessing
in the lives of others.
If I keep trying so hard to be good,
when will I ever come to the point
that I actually see myself as good
and relax a little
with who I really am?
I could spend my whole life
trying to be good
and reach the end of it
Is this any way to live?
How about, instead of trying so hard,
I simply sit still and observe?
What if I could see the thoughts
behind my attempts
What if I questioned those thoughts,
and saw myself as I am,
knowing myself in this present moment?
I never knew such freedom existed
until it began to slowly dawn on me
that beating myself up
for not being perfect
wasn’t going to help,
that feeling disappointed
for not being better
was not going to motivate me,
that trying to fix my faults
through some kind of effort
wasn’t going to yield
the results I sought.
So I gave up all hope
and I began to focus
on all the things
big and small
for which I am grateful.
And as the gratitude
bubbled up in my heart
I am human.
I can relax.
connect me with all humans.
I don’t need to reach
before I can feel
justified in being kind to myself.
I never knew such freedom existed
until I relaxed
into the person I am right now.
Give up all plans to improve yourself
and begin, today, to love yourself.
Cultivate acceptance for the person you are now,
and learn how to shower acceptance upon others.
Become a true friend to yourself,
cultivating gentleness, kindness, clarity–
and be a true friend for others,
giving them the same.
There is nothing wrong with you.
Whatever hurts is an invitation to love.
That which is closed is an opportunity for opening.
Give up all plans to improve yourself,
and return to the natural great peace
of your true nature.