the elusive search for a better best bestest self

During Lent our Priest came up with an interesting concept of finding our "best selves" ..... to me it meant using where I was then, as a person, as a starting point and then working towards a "better self" and then on to a "best self".  I do not think the last term is reachable for most of us, including me.  Some may find it possible. 

It was to be a process of also including looking at ourselves and very often how we react and relate to others.  When we do so in a "bad" way .... are we really being our "best selves"?  Is what we do and say to others and about others helping to build this change, or is it the very thing that feeds our staying the same?

I saw changes in several people who had taken this concept seriously, including those leading the way .... it seemed if we bit our tongues a little more, spoke with gentleness more often, spoke to people instead of about them and generally ran our lives in a way that had us constantly asking ourselves "am I showing the best me doing this"?, then this, with work, would be attainable. 

I actually think I did quite well ...... note the term "I" ........ because I also did not let others ratify whether or not I am ok.  I decided I was.  I tried to breathe before speaking, not sweat the small stuff, give others the benefit of the doubt.  I tried to be a "better self" in how I reacted to others and things they did and said, even if these were about me.  I never had to work on loyalty.  That is something I think is parked in my "best at" stable of talents, but one that I have learnt can cause great pain because loyalty given is not always loyalty gained.  I concentrated on everything ... what I ate .... how I drove ..... what I watched, there is no use trying to be your better self if you drive like a lunatic, treat people in shops or restaurants badly or such.  I realised that we need to focus on those who truly love us.  A fact we often overlook because we are so busy chasing those that are not always there for us.  

Lent has come and gone ....... and this week ..... and the one before ..... in fact the whole last 30 days, triggered by one small thing, I have been wondering if I am still in my "better, best me" space.  I can already hear footsteps as those who want to point out my shortcomings approach me ....... and that is fine.  As long as this is a period of growth .... as long as these shortcomings are shown to me gently, with love and kindness ... for the good of me.  And just as important, allow me to point out yours with love as well. If only one of us has faults, then one of us is lying. 

At first I was lambasting myself about the "better self".  I am a person that needs to be reassured that I am ok.  There .... I have said it.   I seriously doubt that is the worst personality trait to have.  If I know you are self conscious about your figure ... I will try and boost you.  If I know you have issues with a particular thing, I will always try and help you with that.  So mine is the fact that I am not driven by money, rewards, fancy cars, fancy clothes or any of those.  I am driven by simple things like well done, thank you, you matter, I am glad I know you.  Recognition. My dad one day said it was the key to me.  I never knew at that time that you may be the only person to ever completely grasp that dad. 

Today a friend of mine told me that I am the person that paints the target on myself and I am also the person who takes all the shots at it.  

I spent some hours tonight pondering that because it is obviously not a compliment and I was trying to work out exactly what about me causes that to be the image I portray to some. However those that know me quite well also know that life has taken some pretty shitty shots at me over the past 12 months.  So now I have to focus on not giving myself body blows anymore.   

And all I can think of is that obviously to some I am not my best self.  Not even my better self.  In fact I am probably just self.   And that was hard.  

But it made me think ..... how many of us who walked this road at Lent and "bettered" ourselves have actually maintained it?  Surely it is not just me slipping? 

So tomorrow I will get up and start the walk over ....... I think God will be proud of me ..... because He gives us the space to work on ourselves all the time.  However He does not expect us to change our uniqueness.  He sees me just as I am.  And He nudges me towards a better self.  But He does it with love and gentleness and kindness and warmth.  

And I want to learn that too.   Why don't you try it as well.  

I continue to count down to the pilgrimage because I have re-structured my goal .... I am not actually going there to find myself.  I am going there to rid myself of what I have allowed myself to become, often at the hand of others.  Karin is there.  And she, the better me, is waiting.  

till soon 

c'est la vie 


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