My Rules of Life---Part Seven
I used to struggle with just about everything and anyone given a small difference in basic philosophy or principle or possession. There was a lot of fear around the unknown, around perceived differences between you and me. The worst inner battle would come around circumstances. Why did you seem to have it so easy and I would be demented from trying to make ends meet. Life was always so unfair.
I was in the habit of always comparing my insides with your outsides. I'd see you so lovely and confident and think, I could be so much more given your looks and your brains and your relationship and your career and even your car. Life was tinged with an air of dissatisfaction. I'd bring an air of judgement and condemnation to any place, person or event I didn't quite approve of. For whatever reason.
There was never enough of this world for me. If I could have slightly more, then life would be a whole lot better.
I little realized that there would never be enough. Happiness, for me, I learned, was a completely inside job. I could never find it out there. It was in that indefinable space within.
And how did I find it? Through a long process of tearing down every faulty tenet of belief I had held so dear and letting go of all the preconceived notions of how I thought the world, with me in it, functioned.
I had to start with accepting myself exactly as I was in the very moment of now. It was never about the money or the wardrobe or the stuff. It was about who I was. I needed to find that. And I think I did. I had to accept the changes that happened to me. It was okay to change. Nothing was written in stone about my life. I could move through it, I could create it day to day. I could write. I could dream. I could read the books I wanted to read. And re-read them. I could shamelessly like old black and white movies.
But the other side of that was I had to accept you as you were as well, disliking the old B&W's and hating Jane Austen and really enjoying your trumpet. That was absolutely fine too. And I had to really mean it. I had to accept your wealth or your fame and not be intimidated or envious of it. I needed to wish you well in everything. I had to let go of the desire to change you. You were exactly as you were meant to be too. You see, I used to get acceptance and approval mixed up. I thought they were one and the same thing. But they're not.
And I'm still learning and still slide a little backwards on this acceptance business from time to time. But my whole life has substantially improved as a result.