I don’t try to think less of myself, I try to think of myself, less…and that is also why these steps have been shared and expressed in a way that is not too personal, not I-I-I or me-me-me, but us really…how can we do better for ourselves and for each other? Nobody is perfect. I have however met people who live like they believe they are, and what they think is “right,” and how they think is the “only” way TO think, and while people like this often cloak their judgments and criticisms in the disguise as being “helpful” all it really is, is them talking about what they think and why it’s right…STEP 12 seems to me to be about evolving, and I believe that if you never try to do anything new, or do it in a new way, or never try to think outside of the framework you live in, then you don’t evolve. I also firmly believe that it is far better to try to do something new, or think in a new way and then decide “it’s not for me,” than to continue on the path of same-old-same-old. But this is my opinion, only, it’s my personal narrative, yours might be on the opposite pole and I think that’s just fine, for you.
I believe that trying and failing is better than not trying at all. I don’t like to fail and I suspect that nobody does, BUT…I have lived long enough now to understand that it is okay to fail because every failure is a lesson and every lesson is part of our evolution, and more importantly, we know when we can do better than we are doing, and we get there in our own way on our own time, because the “knowing” is the voice that guides us…it is the ache in our belly, it is the insomnia keeping us up at night, it is the personal narrative of our existance…we know when our ride on this planet is going well and we know when it is clunking and chugging along. The words in our heads that seemingly never stop stating the obvious, the jibber-jabber blabber that goes on all of our waking hours is nothing but the inner voice stating what we already know and are already experiencing…”it’s cold out” might say the voice in your head, upon walking out your door, but “duh?” you are the one feeling the cold you are the observer and experiencer of your life, that inner voice is just chatter most of the time…BUT when it is talking to you and you are not listening to it, when you feel “off” that’s when that inner voice can change your life.
‘Just Do Your Best’ is one of those statements uttered by teachers, coaches, parents, mentors, or instructors when we are young, and it just becomes meaningless strung-together words, over an entire lifetime, if we don’t actually try to do our best. STEP 12 made me think of the movie BABE, a movie I have seen countless times. It is a story about wondering who you are, what is your place, what is your role, and finding out that you can create a role for yourself in this life that is, to most, inconceivable, but you do it anyway. BABE follows the age old adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.’ When I first read this quote that is our STEP 12 I thought of farmer Hoggett, and how he lets BABE try and fail and says “that’ll do” when BABE gets where he needs and wants to be.
I think we know, deep in our souls, when we can do better, and I also think that most of us get there without being berated for the efforts or attempts to find our way. If things in our life are not going so well, we don’t need Captain Obvious to tell us so…”um, Hello? I know my life is in the toilet, thanks a lot for the update” is a default statement many of us on the path might need once in a while. We don’t have to have cheerleaders or overly blaring coaches on our sidelines, or parents who are forever blathering on about how we can do it…WE humans KNOW what we are capable of, and we feel it, when we understand we are capable of more. We know when we should speak up and we know when we should shut-up. Our inner voice can guide us in so many ways if we let it. More importantly that voice can drown out all the critics distracting us, and turn up the volume for those who guide us rightly, who build us up, who see the light in us when maybe we are having a hard time seeing it for ourselves… Maybe we can learn to quiet that inner voice when it is beating us down, and maybe when we do our best, we can train it to simply tell us, That’ll Do.