If you've never heard of or read The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, go get yourself a copy stat.
It's a wonderful set of life guidelines based on ancient Toltec wisdom that Ruiz unpacks in a beautiful and simple way that is easy to digest.
I was thinking about The Four on my way to work this morning. I want to re-read the book; I honestly think I could re-read it every month and glean something new from it. I need reminders every day that I want to live by these agreements. They make sense to me. But they're not easy.
I went about my day and then on my way home I was thinking of life and everything I had to do and was feeling overwhelmed when I said to myself, "relax, it's okay, you're doing the best you can right now."
We are so hard on ourselves. We try to get everything done. We put so much on our plates that they end of toppling over. We're overworked, overwhelmed, but you know you are trying your best. Sometimes it doesn't feel good enough. But to whom doesn't it feel good enough? Most of the time, we're not good enough for ourselves. We hold ourselves to such high standards even we cannot reach them sometimes. We get angry, frustrated, depressed, anxious.
What would happen if you offered yourself compassion instead of self-deprecation?
I have been reminded recently the wisdom from Agreement Number Four:
"Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret."
I've been sick for about a month. I have had no motivation to do anything. I get frustrated with myself for not being well but I am doing my best. My best right now is identifying how my current routine is no longer serving me and therefore contributing to my sickness. My best right now is doing the dishes then watching Netflix because my brain is fried and my body is tired. I know that this routine is not a permanent one. I am trying my best. My best must be good enough for me.
When I'm at my best in health, my routine looks different. But for right now, I'm doing the best I can. I have to set aside the to-dos, the anxiety about getting xyz done, because that's not for today - my best isn't those things today. Today, I am trying my best to heal and feel better.
I remind myself that I am sick for a reason, because I am not treating myself well. Something I was doing or thinking (or not doing or not thinking) contributed to 1/12 of this new year being in a serious rest period. I thought I was treating myself well but I realize I was doing my best at the time. Now I know better and can change what best means for me in the future. As Ruiz says, "Under any circumstance, simply do your best..."
We are trying our best. Our best IS good enough. We ARE smart enough and worthy enough. Every damn day.
When we are able to find compassion for ourselves and others and realize we are trying our best, we set ourselves free.
I know you are trying your best.
Because we all are.
With compassion and understanding for your BEST self today and every day,