Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Art of Keeping Promises

Sometimes we let our Self down
Unable to keep promises
Try as we might
With clenched teeth
Breath held
We make choices
That betray
Our wants and our needs.
But sometimes
Keeping promises to our Self is effortless
As we stand taller than we have before
With a sense of Self
That cannot allow betrayal
Of our wants and needs.

We have all had dramatic moments like the famous scene in Gone with the Wind where Scarlett O’Hara makes a promise to her Self:  As God as my witness, I will never go hungry again and she sets out to create a life where this past experience will be a faint memory.  Our promises may be different but definitely spring from the intensity of an experience that we vowed never to duplicate.  But then, we find our Self in a moment where we have the opportunity to make a different choice and don’t.  With teeth clenched and breath held, we betray our Self overriding our inner guidance that is shouting instructions:  Do this!  Say this!  We pick up the bat and begin to beat our Self up mentally, spinning over and over the questions:  Why didn’t you just do that?  Why didn’t you just say that?  Why?  Why?!  Why?!!  Scolding and shaming our Self:  You knew better!  WTF???!!!!

But sometimes, we stand taller than we have before, surefooted and grounded with a sense of Self that simply cannot allow the betrayal of our wants and needs, and we make choices that are best for us.  There is an inner happy dance that takes place with music in the background of our mind as we celebrate this victory in keeping a promise to our Self.  This is the feeling of being the mountain, unshakeable, able to stand with unparalleled strength that can’t be knocked over in order to become the hill that others may need us or want us to be.  We know who we are and we know what we want and need and we understand that honoring our Self is everything.

There is an art to keeping promises to our Self as we live our life moment by moment, choice by choice, day by day.  This dance with our Self includes not keeping promises to our Self and tuning in to what that feels like, letting go of perfection and putting down the bat so we can allow our humanness in all its Glory that will fu#% up, that will betray us, that forgets it is the mountain.  Analyzing the crap out of Why?! we do or don’t do something perpetuates the shame, the beliefs that we aren’t doing things right, that we aren’t good enough and that we should know better.  On the other hand, Self-awareness frees us in our ability to observe our patterns, our behaviors, our beliefs so we can make choices that feel good.  It is essential to keep a sense of humor about our human fallibility on this journey as this lightens our heart instead of gripping us with fear of inadequacy.

The invitation this day is to see your life as a work of art with some brush strokes appearing more brilliant than others but seeing the beauty in it all as it is all you.  To deny any part of your humanness is to deny your Self.  To be present to your Self with humor, grace and compassion brings more of you out to play and live.  Remember:  Nobody is perfect! especially those pretending to be and how exhausting to try to be what we simply are not.   

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