I have about 25 life philosophies on any given day. They change all the time. And if I am hungry and cranky, there’s a whole new set of rules. And because Get Healthy U is a fitness website, I’d also like to add that life gets off kilter without my daily workout.
But basically, it boils down to three:
1. I have no idea what I am doing.
Maybe some of you got the manual on how to do everything right (sometimes it sure seems like everyone picked up that manual at the grocery store the other day when it was probably half off or something) but, me, I am just winging it. I don’t know how to do anything at all with complete confidence. Parenting? No way! Being the person I was born to be? Not sure! Accomplishing all my goals? Woah, I’ll take any and all advice!
Sometimes I feel like breathing is the only skill I have down. I don’t know how to be a perfect mom or friend or sister or how to make my life turn out the way I want it to, it’s all pretty murky as to whether or not I am doing anything at all right. And, it can get me pretty down, especially since it can seem like other people have got it way more together than I do.
But admitting that I don’t have it all figured out has been just what I needed.
It has really allowed me to let myself off the hook. I am kinder, more patient and the best: it has made me teachable.
And, I never want to stop learning, it makes life so much richer and more meaningful. So, I will admit that I am clueless about most of what I do, because the product of this realization is that I get to make mistakes and learn to do better the next time.
2. When all else fails, I just try to be kind.
Life can throw some pretty sour lemons at you. People hurt our feelings, or we stew over what thing we didn’t get during childhood from our very own imperfect parents (oh, you had those, too?). Or, someone cannot see you at the deli counter because you’re so short, and like three people go in front of you and no one seems to notice it’s you who just wants to order a little turkey, for the kids, you know…oh, are you still here? I digress.
After all is said and done, I just try to revert to kindness. Plain and simple. I am really working on this one, too. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Like that person who offended me or hurt my feelings or ignored me when I smiled at them … I try to make up excuses for them, try to give them another shot, because man, don’t we all need another shot?
And, you know what else? I am learning to give myself another chance, too. Because that is my other big sticking point: I am trying to be kind to myself. Most days I need it, I need to forgive myself or give myself a second go.
How about you? You need a little hug for yourself? Go ahead and give it.
So, it is kindness all around. It is so much better than bitterness and disappointment.
3. I try to do it better the next time.
So, because I know that I am shooting from the hip pretty much all the time, I at least try to learn something along the way. When I fail at being kind or being the perfect human being (which turns out, is ALL the time) I try to forgive myself and make a note on how to get a little better the next time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven that long ride home after a night with girlfriends that I beat myself up for saying something stupid, or talking too much or not saying the right thing at all. Those times (and that is just one example, don’t get me started on all the learning I still have to do), I practice saying to myself: “Oh, well, you get another chance. Don’t give up trying to do better.” And that is part of kindness, isn’t it?
But it is also about being willing to try again.
I believe that other people have short memories and if you do better next time with them, they will actually forget about your dopey self.
I have also learned, “Sorry,” is the best way to start to do it better the next time.
And, saying sorry, it takes a lot of bravery, but it is so worth it.
I’m finally old enough to stop blaming other people for my problems and not knowing how to get what I want out of life. I have learned that it is up to me to embrace the lessons that life is teaching me.
Being humble, being kind, and being teachable, these three things are the building blocks for making the kind of life you want to live … and the life you were meant for.