The English novelist Aldous Huxley once said, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterwards, when you have worked on your own corner.”
So … great quote, but to me it just represents a big, fat, fail. Because I did the exact opposite! I stepped into work, the first day of the new year, and after exchanging pleasantries asked my friend when she was going to quit smoking. Just like that. I spoke first, and registered my words only after I saw her abashed expression that this personal struggle was just that – PERSONAL!
Now I may have asked her with good intention, with a heart that desired her health, but hidden in even in the purest of intentions are judgements. Singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson stole the words of my conscious when he sang, “I think I’ve been wrong enough to know when I’m right.” And I’m right in this … I was wrong.
I embarrassed her. I called her out. And that’s not the, “corner of the universe,” I was called to improve. What about me – the girl who worries too much? Me – the procrastinator? Me – the perfectionist? Me – the hypocrite who hates judgmental people and then judges them for it!?!
This year, I did not make a resolution … but as you can see above, there are certainly a number of un-resolved aspects of my character I’ve yet to work on. The edges and bristles I’ve adopted need to be worn smooth again and my too-quick tongue needs to be slowed.
So this year:
I un-resolve trying to fix others.
I un-resolve thinking perfect is desirable.
I un-resolve judging that what is right for me, is right for everyone.
I un-resolve giving myself a due date for creative intentions.
I un-resolve believing that I cannot be fully forgiven, or fully loved.
If I can keep to this list, I think I’ve got a chance to find myself a little more often. The other day I overheard two ladies talking as I walked passed them. And I could’ve sworn that when the first said, “Nice to see you,” the other said, “Nice to see me too.” I wanted to laugh, but then the mis-said phrase struck me a little, because if truth be told … there are times I’ve felt it would not only be nice to see me, but to be me. The real me. The one I so often ignore or push aside to persue the demands of the me I so often am.
So this past weekend I stole time. I drove thirty minutes on a back-county road. It was just me and a milk truck for miles, and for once I didn’t even have the urge to pass. I went to my favorite coffee shop and ordered a white chocolate gingerbread mocha, without making it the,”skinny” version. I took a bath for thirty minutes of alone time with a great book.
And it was good to see me too.
I’m not there yet, resolving the un-resolved takes time after all. But I’m on my way – to judging less, to loving more, and to hoping that maybe, just maybe, this year … I’ll be that much closer to getting, “me,” right.