Every new year, I'm completely divided within myself. Half of me turns into a Stepford-wife and spouts out random, positive sounding gibberish about hope, prosperity, and "This is gonna be the year..." The other half - who resembles more my usual unsure, insecure, pessimistic and snarky self - either cringes in silence while I snort at all my new-found positivity and retort back all the long list failed past attempts and useless affirmations. But neither these sides of myself have been very helpful in achieving any of my health, wealth and personal goals... or anything at all for that matter. Every year had the story of how my positive attitude fell to the pervading laziness, uncertainty, insecurity and whatever all else that ails my very crazy pysche.
But, as many greater than I have often said, defeat lies not in the failures but in the giving up. I've been defeated and given up too many times already... more than enough to know that it isn't the refuge or acceptable 'ending' it ever presents itself to be. The truth is happiness and becoming who I was meant to be doesn't happen unless I face the hard roads. Not with denial. Not with self-persecution. Not with concession to live an unhappy life.
Knowing this, I have to reconcile these two sides of myself. While my snarky-side - crippled by fear of failing yet again - would rather give up now and avoid any self-deluding mantras, I - the whole me - just cannot afford to concede defeat to the fear and resign to become unhealthier, lazier, dumber, and spiritually disconnected. And while my cheerleader side can seem like the 'me' I wanna lead with, I know I need more than empty affirmations and a results-obsessed mindset that's completely unaccommodating and unprepared for dealing with the real pain that comes with facing a fight. So, rather than choosing to be an uber-positive angel obsessed with the future (weight to lose, healthy habits to gain, etc.) or the self-flogging devil obsessed with the past (my failures, my bad habits, my bad history), I'm choosing to be Me.
The human Me. Present in the NOW. Not in the future where everything is bright and sunny but completely mythical, idealized and still unseen - a mirage of how things are supposed to be. Thereby, no need to punish myself or feel discouraged if my actions don't completely resonate with that goal. Me no is still getting there. No need to punish me for not being there yet. It's part of the process. I will accept that as Me in the Present, I am blind and vulnerable to all the roadblocks, dips and hardships on the road ahead. So why shouldn't I be forgiving if I make a wrong turn here or there?? But Me in the Now is also not condemned or limited by the past either. When driving along, what does it matter if I was lost 20 minutes ago?? Me in the Now focuses on finding my way there now. Having made a wrong turn doesn't condemn me to the wrong location right??
The thing is I've been lost. I wanna find what I'm looking for. But I'll never get there by lamenting over how/why I got lost and being in the wrong place or by fixating on a destination and trying to "teleport" there. The road must be traveled. And I'll enjoy the journey a lot more if I drive forward looking out through the windshield rather than in reverse with the rear view mirror. Sure, I gotta keep looking 20 feet ahead of me and try to manage the bumps a long the way. But if I gotta hit one here or there or get thrown by a tiny pothole, so what?? And I'll probably have to keep glancing at the rear-view mirrors once in a while to make sure I don't get rear-ended by bad habits or lessons I've already learned. But if one or two or three overtake me at some point, my car still moves forward. I'll catch up with them eventually and zoom right past.
I can't say I've never been lost and failed to find my way, or that this time, I'll get there... but it sure feels good to be back on that open road with the wind blowing in my hair and adventure awaiting me at every wrong and right turn.