When my daughter was a teenager, I used to hate, HATE, absolutely loathe when she would respond to my statement, any statement, with the word “whatever.” I hated it most when accompanied by an eye roll, or an exasperated sigh, or a door slam or a stomp down the hallway that ended with a door slam. To me, back then, s0 many years ago, it was the equivalent of her pretty much saying to me, “f* you, nothing you say matters, at all, and I disregard your view, totally.” …but, she was for the most part a very good teenager and I would seldom let the “whatever” lead to any kind of turmoil or tumult. I often would remind myself that I had raised a girl into a woman who thought for herself and had her own opinions and views, and for me that was a very big deal, and so I let her self-expression be what it was…this does not however imply, at all, that the agitated “whatever” response was something I liked, but I did tolerate it. During this exploration of STEPS, and thoughts about changing and evolving, I have read many books, that some might surely dismiss as self-help jibber-jabber, but others would describe them as thought-provoking and insightful and stimulating. One of the books I read was called F**K It. No, really, that is the title. It’s called “F**K it. The Ultimate Spiritual Way” and I bought it and I loved it. I learned a little, but mostly the author expressed views that I feel like I already knew, felt, or believed, but he put them in an order that was refreshing, and his words helped me see, my daughter had been onto something back then… It was such perfect timing too that when I finished the book I was at this point, STEP 19. Some of you might enjoy STEP 19 very much if you are tired… Tired of having to edit yourself. Tired of having to make others comfortable or happy or content. Tired of feeling like you have to accept truths that are not yours, some other view that feels off. Tired of having to do what you are “supposed” to do and not want you want to do. Tired of fitting in. Tired of making choices that benefit others more than yourself. Tired of worry about how others feel, and not giving enough time or thought to how YOU feel. Tired of the status quo. Tired of the way things are…Tired.
If this seems crass or coarse, sorry, but it’s pretty powerful, this STEP 19. I think it takes a lot of bravery really to get to this point…to be able to be comfortable with yourself; what you believe, how you live your lifestyle, the choices you makes, the mistakes you stumble over, the achievements you make and the failures, EVERYthing that IS you…to own it and no longer worry or fret or wonder or apologize over what other people think about you, your beliefs, your lifestyle, your choices, your mistakes, your achievements and failures. We did after all read in The Four Agreements that what other people think about you is none of your business…what a powerful agreement to live by. I’ve learned that you have to find your own tribe…I read that once, “your vibe finds your tribe” and it’s true.
In Oprah magazine recently, I read an essay where a woman wrote, “No, you don’t want to compare, because comparing is the death of happiness.” It’s not easy, full acceptance of your errors and your misses can be difficult, though also it means, in the Yin-Yang of life, FULL acceptance of your goodness too, every single one of the things that makes you a good person. Accepting the bad, that is not an easy pill to swallow, ever, but I am at an age where I now value the importance and significance of it all, and accept that my teenage daughter was onto something. STEP 19 expresses TRYING, trying so very hard to NOT compare at all, in a world where comparison is so fully in our faces every day, and just be present, and just to accept what is…it’s a path to being totally comfortable with yourself, which I guess in some ways is the only value of the steps at all…acceptance and moving on…
We ALL have had misses with our hits, we ALL have had bad times among our good, we ALL have made some awesome choices and some really dumb ones, and those who have been just perfect all along, or seem to think they are better than the rest of us who have tripped up, well good for them. Really, I truly and sincerely mean this, good for you…but for those of us who have had some low times or have a regret or two, well, own it. Accept it and get on with your life. ‘Stop stumbling over what is behind you.’ For me, being a good person, loving fully and truly, being somebody people find honest and dependable, being a good friend and a better Nana, finding something beautiful to notice every day in nature, making somebody smile, feeding people I love, keeping my little piece of the universe tidy the way I like it, is being the best human I can be in a world where there are many humans who are not very good…and this is what matters. This is what the book “F**K It” meant to me…the ultimate spiritual guide guided me towards thoughts I already had…be a good human and you don’t have to apologize. The worry over what other people think, what other people have, what other people might have done differently…oh good grief!!! who really cares??!! Think the word, “Whatever” and roll your eyes if it feels good, say the word “whatever” and slam a door, whatever you have to do or think or say or believe so that you feel right in your skin, your life, your lifestyle…so that what other people think or say or do does NOT bother you in any way, does NOT strive to mold you into something you aren’t, does NOT aim to conform you to ideas that don’t feel like they fit…whatever