Reaching for My Better Self
May 15, 2013 by Lisa A Kramer
This quote greeted me as I opened to the next blank page in my Morning Pages this morning.
[caption id="attachment_6630" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Reaching . . .[/caption]
"Don't strive to be better than others: strive to be better than your best self." (Sophia Bedford-Pierce THE KEY TO LIFE)
It resonated with truth.
I know that one of my biggest personal challenges is worrying about what other people think, or comparing myself to others all the time. When I do that--I always lose.
But something has shifted inside me lately. Perhaps it comes from feeling like I'm pounding my head against a brick wall with some of my students; or the sensation that the administrator of one of my programs only hears what she wants to hear no matter how loudly I speak--and will always find a way to put the blame on me when things go awry. The unpleasantness of both these situations have made me realize I don't want to feel like this any more.
I want to become my best self. I want to be the type of person who lives each day with joy, knowing that she has done her best and hurt nobody along the way.
I still have goals and dreams that require a little acknowledgment from the outside world, but I don't have to let them control me. I would love to:
- Publish: While I dream of traditional publishing, I have to focus on writing good work, and that will eventually get me somewhere. This morning I woke up and started revising a short story I've been working on for an anthology. While I was responding to some feedback, I focused on making it the best story I could write--making it a story I was proud to write. I can't control how the editors respond, but I felt really good about this morning's work. Now I need to do that for "The Power of Words."
- Make My Family Comfortable: It's not about becoming rich. It's not about competing with some of the people in my life who like to flaunt their wealth as happiness. I would just like us to be able to buy our house (as I hate renting), not worry about bills, and occasionally travel to interesting places. I often doubt my contributions are enough, but if I focus on doing the best at what I do, then it will be more than enough.
- Travel: I don't want all my vacations to be about extended family. I want to take my daughter and my husband and see the world--not to impress anybody but because I love culture, and language, and learning new things. Perhaps it's a crazy dream, but it is a dream that will feed the soul of my best self.
- Do More Theatre for Social Change: I want to take my passion for words, for theatre, for arts, and for justice and make a difference in this world. I don't care about glory or recognition for this work, I just want to do this work to the best of my ability. I want to know that in some small way, I have made a difference in the lives of others. If I can make this happen somehow, on a level where I'm doing good work for the pure love of the work and the people I'm working with, then I will have found my best self.
As I was typing this, an e-mail came in with a recommended article from LinkedIn (click to find my LinkedIn profile). The article, written by a female entrepreneur named Inge Geerdens is called "I'm Not Balancing Work and Life And I Feel Great." She writes:
"I don’t need a balance; I’m not looking for a way to balance my private life with my professional life. I’m just trying to have a great life."I think that might be a quote to live by.
What do you need to do to become your best self? My first step . . . take a walk.
[caption id="attachment_6631" align="aligncenter" width="448"] Photo by Steve Kramer. http://taochildseyes.wordpress.com/[/caption]