Freak and NOT Brilliant
Sometimes – even when you’ve done good things and know you can be a good person – you will have times when you feel you’ve failed.
Perhaps those times are now.
Perhaps you feel you’ve failed yourself – or failed others.
Perhaps you feel you’ve failed to live up to your potential – or failed to make the difference that you’d always hoped you would.
It might be true. It might not be. It’s certainly not permanently true.
Still, it’s not what’s objectively true that hurts – it’s what feels true.
If you feel like you’ve failed to live up to your ideal self – even when you know better, have done better, are told better – it feels like crap. You can shut it out sometimes, but it’s always there, a big rotten soft spot you’d rather not feel and rather not know.
I know, because I go there.
I make bad choices. I try to hide from them. I do exactly the things I promised myself I would not do. I see myself up close. I do not always like what I see.
It’s the gap between how I want to be, and how I am, that makes me hurt.
If I were to treat myself with kindness, with the generosity and open-heartedness that I hope I would give to others, I would say this:
The fact that you want better makes you better. It’s not the fact of goodness that makes one good: it is the striving for good.
The wonder of who we are is that we will never be everything we can be – all at once. We can only keep trying, moment by moment, to make ourselves as marvelously possible as we can.
It’s a part of living, and living in possibility.
Possibility includes all potentials, and if you dream hard, you can create grief and remorse as easily as joy and delight. Nightmares are dreams, too.
Perhaps it seems a scornful critic, rebuking you with all the things you have not done. Perhaps it seems a passive bystander, indifferent to your efforts, not even a witness: a face in the crowd, turned away.
Do you even notice it? When you are distracted by your own internal carnage – do you even care?
But here is something you should know.
Reality is there for you. It is more than just a face in the crowd. It is not your enemy. It is your quiet ally.
Dreams and nightmares can collapse around you, turn into vapour, elude your grasp – but reality is always there.
Reality is the hard ground beneath your feet. The rough branch that breaks your fall. The cold stone that gives you shelter. Reality is the silent friend who says nothing when you fall down but is always there: firm, strong, ready. Lean against reality. Grab hold. Push off.
Reality asks nothing of you; reality does not judge. You can feel a failure but reality knows nothing of that: it simply exists, a place to stand and start again.
You may be disappointed by the person you feel you are. But reality is not. The possible still exists, and reality is there, still with you, open to the moment – every moment. And every moment you are: you are.
Close your eyes. Dream hard. Lean toward.
And reach out. Always reach out.