Friday, January 1, 2016

{Happy} New Year


It's the first morning of 2016.

2015 has been a bit of a weird one for me.  I won't say it was a disaster.  Not completely catastrophic.

Because I like to keep things in perspective.



Last year I had friends who lost friends.  Friends who were grieving.  Friends who were going through some real shit.  And to broaden my view there was destruction, violence and ills across the globe that made my heart sad.

So by comparison my lovely life in sunny suburbia seems like a dream.

A loyal, loving, long-term relationship.  Two healthy, happy kids.  A lovely home.  Fruit in the fruit bowl, presents under the Christmas tree, friends and family with whom to share my birthday.

Which begs the question - what the hell is my fucking problem?

Yesterday I read this quote:

Quote by Alan Watts from this article at brainpickings















That's me.  That's basically my whole life spent in a valiant effort of self-improvement.  I've long thought this was a good thing, the right thing, that of course I should strive to be the best version of myself that I could be.

I had no idea that this well intentioned striving has in fact had the reverse effect.  Because instead of self improvement, instead of leading me onwards towards a better me what it has done is encouraged, fostered, nurtured the heartfelt belief that I'm not good enough.

In a subtle and subconscious way I have spent my whole life trying to escape myself.  Somehow trying to turn myself into something better than I am.  Never acknowledging that grasping for better at it's core is a denial of what is, of who I am.

And in an ironic and bitter twist I am beginning, ever so slowly to see that this denial of what is, this lack of acceptance of who I actually am, (right now, not in a years time when I am miraculously 'better') is the architect of the prison in which my best self is trapped.

For I have seen who I am.  I have seen the truth of the matter.  I have been brushed, feather light by the undeniable and yet somehow very hard to grasp truth.  That I am broad and deep and vast.  That I contain immense, immeasurable power, passion and possibility.  I encompass unending compassion and limitless joy.  I am whole.  I am complete.  I am perfect.

And so are you.

I am not my bad decisions, I am not every stupid thing I have ever said, I am not my anger, my shame, my sadness.  I am not my dysfunctional relationships. I am not my anxiety.

These things are part of me, part of the suffering of this shared human experience, but they do not define me. They cannot contain me.  And I do not need to escape them.

So I am not doing New Years Resolutions this year.  I am not going to continue to split myself in two.

No more striving for someone or something better than.  No more looking into the vista of the distant furture hoping for more.

Instead I am going to come to rest where I am.  I am coming home.  I'll see you there. x

How was 2015 for you?  And what are your hopes for 2016?


Image Licensed Under Creative Commons via Morguefile

20 comments:

  1. This was a truly beautiful read. I thank you so much for this post - one of the first I've read in 2016 and, truly, a guiding light for me. Cheers to self-acceptance, to polishing the diamonds rather than endlessly mining for coal. x

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  2. Oh wow, thanks Bron! I loved your post this morning too, it really got me thinking. And setting intentions (more than resolutions, I think) is a good thing. Here's hoping for good things in 2016. xx

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  3. Beautiful Kate and so very true. Here's to not just a year but a lifetime of self acceptance. Maybe we can only concentrate on making things better for the world around us rather than making ourselves 'better'

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    1. Thanks Robyna. I think there's some truth in that, but also that the world will be it's best when we are each ourselves. I look forward to connoting more with you on 2016. x

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  4. Happy new beginnings & new way to view yourself... I'm in awe! It's taken me almost 66 years to become ok (in fact more than ok) with me! Accolades, degrees, external success, family life Etc makes no real difference until it's FELT & BELIEVED Inside! That's what my life is about now- questioning the past beliefs which essentially were not helping & being more, so much more into what's now! Love this way you've expressed it! Denyse xx

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    1. Thanks Denyse. Thank-you for your kind words - your right, it's all about internal acceptance! {easier said than done for some of us!} x

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  5. This is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Here's to happiness & love - for ourselves & others xx

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    1. Thank-you so much Elisa - and also to you. xx

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  6. Yes!! Yes!! YES TO THIS KATE!! You've expressed yourself so beautifully here. Acceptance of who we are is the path, and the destination. I love this so much. What a brilliant first blog post to read this year. Thank you for the gift that these words are.

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    1. Thank-you so much Annette, I'm so touched by your words and so thrilled that my words have resonated. x

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  7. So true, resolutions seem to just set us up to fail! I am sure I will still write some though, just so that I can look back on them and roll my eyes.
    It is still New Year's Eve here, not quite there yet, but it is good to read what you time travelers are up to!

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    1. Haha! I love the idea of being a time traveller. Wonderful! Thanks for you words and good luck wit your resolutions - may they lead to more than just eye-rolling. x

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  8. What wonderful and fitting words to start off my 2016 wise Kate. I too get so caught up in the wheel of constantly trying to improve myself (exhausting !) Self acceptance and resting where I am sounds like a much more appealing option. Much love to you lovely lady for 2016 xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Ing - yes! the constant treadmill of self improvement is exhausting. I'm looking forward to shedding that burden in 2016, I hope you have a joyful experience of resting where you are this year too. xx

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  9. What a perfect way to start the new year. Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to read this and am glad it is the first post I've read this year. This year I plan to set intentions rather than resolutions. And they are all to do with creativity and no pressure. Happy 2016 to you lovely. xx

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    1. NO PRESSURE! Love that Deb. I am so glad this post resonated with you. Here's to a very joyful 2016 for us all! x

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  10. Yes to accepting the whole person. Good, not-so-good and everything in between. May your 2016 be calm and bring you peace x

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    1. Calm and peace - yes that sounds great! I wish the same for you. I think my challenge this year will be to not turn self acceptance into some sort of goal oriented, self-improvement challenge. Haha - I do struggle with letting go of that! Best of 2016 to you. Thanks for commenting. x

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  11. Just catching up on you and your blog. I love the way you write. I love your grittyness (is that a word?). Anyway, on self-improvement... my Mum's death (two and a half years ago) brought my own mortality in to sharp focus. Since then I seek to be betterin that I want to make the most of everything, live every day in honesty and in the pursuit of learning and growth. Not just for me, but for my three kids and my husband and everyone that I love. It is an exhausting pursuit and one I'm not sure you ever get to the end of. So I get what you say about accepting your whole self. But the spirit of growth is not a negative thing - it can be enriching without compromising the core of who you are. xx

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    1. I'm sorry for the loss of your Mum Collette. Thanks so much for your comment and your lovely words about my writing. I think you are right - it's all about balance. We don't want to completely give up after all, not grow or change or learn. It's just about not feeling like a constant pursuit of improvement is a necessary burden, which is a refreshing realisation actually. Thanks for commenting! x

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