I came across this quote in my morning reading and wanted to capture it here:

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we have already. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing.
- Pema Chodron in The Wisdom of No Escape

I have spent much of my life not being satisfied…not being happy with who I am. Wanting to “fix” myself. Because if I fixed myself, that would fix everything around me and everyone (including me) would be happy.

I have been doing a lot of personal work over the past year and one of the biggest changes that I am seeing is that I am becoming more comfortable with who I am, warts and all. Honestly ok with it, not just ok because I am “supposed” to be ok. Which I guess is a good thing seeing as I am turning 40 in June!

It is very easy for us to think that we have control over more than we really do and that is the trap that I found myself in. I somehow thought that I had the power to fix everything and everyone and if things were not working out it was because I was not good enough or had not tried hard enough. Living my life this way finally caught up with me…I was (am!) exhausted from trying to control everything and everyone.

I have been slowly working on letting go. I still have a long way to go. But I am encouraged that the more I let go, the easier things become. This does not mean that life has gotten easier. To be honest, life has stayed just the way that it always has been…challenging, frustrating, difficult, yet also exciting and, yes, even enjoyable.

What has changed is me. It seems counterintuitive in a way…the more that I let go and stop trying so hard, the easier things become. But I am seeing that this is true.

I am most definitely not perfect in this area. But I am finding that the less I look to fix things in my life, the more likely a solution will appear. So I am working on sitting with things that are bothering me rather than trying to change them. Being with them. Recognizing that these problems do indeed exist and that is ok. Trusting that things will work out when they are meant to and that I will be ok. And amazingly they do and I am.

It will be interesting to see what the next year brings…

- Stephanie