Brian’s Reflection: Monday, June 9, 2008
I have conquered an empire but
I have not been able to conquer myself.
- Czar Peter I of Russia, born on this day, 1672
Well Peter – join the club. You’re in good company, believe me. As far as I know, there is no one who has been able to conquer her/himself.
Trying is a waste of time. Which is not to say, of course, that we don’t try to do our best every day to be our best human self. What our “best human self” is is, of course, up for grabs. Every religion and faith and philosophy has taken a stab at defining what our “best human self” is. Some want to be like God. Some want to be like ….. pick your villain.
But, let’s say that most of us want to be loving, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, generous, faithful, courageous, free of fear. There will be good days and bad days and mediocre days. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves, OK? That, I have found, doesn’t accomplish diddley. As Don Miguel Ruiz says, Do your best every day - and, our “best” will depend on a lot of changing factors. We need to cut ourselves some slack. We’re only human!
Here’s where self-awareness and forgiveness and “grace” come in. We need to understand that we aren’t and never will be perfect. We need to forgive ourselves and others their imperfections. And we need gratefully to accept every bit of help we’re offered, whether it be from the Divine Source of Being or our next door neighbour. And Do Our Best every day, whatever that may be in the circumstances.
Most of us will do pretty well day by day. Hey, I think that’ll be OK.