It’s tax day! It’s also halfway through April and it’s Spring Break for us this week. Lots of things happening. I’m still focusing on Santosha – complete contentment – and what that means. In one of my yoga books in reading about Santosha, non-grasping is mentioned. I’m going to define that here as not grasping for perfection. We sometimes have the tendency to forget that we are human, full of imperfections. Perfect synonyms are ideal, model, without fault, flawless, best, and ultimate to name a few. I’m pretty realistic and know that none of these words define me or my life and I’m really ok with that. But what happens when I’m imperfect, not burn what I’m cooking, miss teaching a side in yoga, forget to do something, but something big, flawed, second-rate, broken. Have you been imperfect like that?
I have. I have made mistakes, big mistakes. I have lied, I have stolen from others, I have hurt friends and family, I have judged others unfairly, I have been selfish. But the biggest mistake has been that I have not forgiven myself for these errors. Instead, I feel shame, guilt, and regret. I cower when I see those I have hurt, I avoid those I have stolen from, and I ignore those I have judged unfairly and in turn, I give them all my power. So, what do I do? Compassion. It starts with compassion.
For me, this has been a LONG process. I have these high expectations for myself. I tell my kids all the time, we all make mistakes, and it’s ok. And I really do believe that. For them, any mistake they make will be ok, for me, only the little ones are ok. I would like things to be different so I’m changing them. Day by day. I like to think of slow progress as pieces of sand. I drop more and more sand until… there is a hole in the wall and I can escape from Shawshank. But really, I forgive a little at a time until I gain my own freedom. Free to be me no matter where I am or who is around me.
Once again, I’ll ask you. How do you find compassion and kindness for yourself when you have made a mistake? I know there are no shortcuts, but I’ll gladly reach out my hand for help.
To complete contentment and with love,