(7th in an ongoing series on “Acceptance in The Time of Coronavirus”)
The other day as I was sorting through some books that had accumulated on my small bedside table, I came across a “dream catcher” journal that someone had given me sixteen years ago for my 60th birthday.
Even though the journal had remained on a table shelf for all these years, I had only written a few entries. Most notable among them was a statement in which I desired to “live a whole, meaningful, free, and engaging life, and to share my wisdom with others.”
I felt heartened that I had made good progress toward achieving that goal.
Interestingly, the very next entry was a two-page assessment of things I liked about myself—my attributes, if you will—and those that I didn’t and wanted to change, improve upon, or remove. The latter included being less critical of others, dealing with my anger early on, and not rushing so much.
It thus occurred to me that to effectively strive toward a life that is more fulfilling and meaningful, it is essential to first “take stock” of where and how we are at the moment.
A silver lining of the Covid 19 pandemic is that it provides us with a unique opportunity to do that. There certainly is no shortage of time for most of us to try!
In fact, when you think about it, the immense challenges and hurdles we face in The Time of Coronavirus—emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially–compel us to take such action if we wish to avoid despair and the debilitating feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
I thus encourage you to start by making a personal accounting of yourself and your life.
In doing so, consider where you feel you fall short. What things hold you back? What do you like about yourself and don’t you like about yourself? What behavior makes you feel bad or guilty?What would you like to do better? What things no longer serve you well? And so on.
You will likely find certain recurring themes and impediments that consistently undermine your overall well-being. Try to hone in on them one at a time, asking yourself this very simple, but pertinent question:
“How’s that working for me?”
Your answer will bring the issue front and center and allow no room for convenient excuses or rationalizations. It can also motivate positive changes.
In your personal assessment, you will discover certain positive qualities and traits that you may not have been fully aware of, dismissed, or downplayed. It’s important to remember that they are vital parts of who you are and you should give them their just due. Your attributes play an important role in attaining the life you want.
It is also instructive to ponder the following question from the chapter “Discovering and Accepting Who We Are” in The Gifts of Acceptance:
“What do I need to change or ‘become’ in order to feel better about myself?”
I encourage you to envision, reflect, meditate and write about what these things may be and how doing them might make you feel. Then start doing them.
As you progress, the healing light of awareness will shine brightly on you during The Time of Coronavirus—and after, making it easier to choose what and who you want to become.
In the meantime, remember to
Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!”
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