Monday, May 7, 2012

The Best Me

"Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. 
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. 
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."
- Max Ehrmannz
I printed this out and have it folded up in my purse. It will always be with me.

I've received some great advice lately. While the circumstances that have brought this advice to me are unique to me, I think the advice is sound and can be helpful to many people.

Here is what I've been doing lately:
- Thinking/writing about the changes that have occurred in my life in the last few years that I don't have any control over. How can I be ok with that?
- Thinking/writing about my personality type, what it means, and how I can be ok with it.
- Intentionally spend time alone. Notice how I feel.
- Focus on moving towards an internal locus of control (vs external). In other words, stop personalizing every little thing.
- Take risks and step outside my comfort zone.

I'm not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. I'm not in a comfortable place. But I am starting to feel like I am right where I am supposed to be. I said at the beginning of 2012 that this would be the year that my character gets tested, and I would need to stick to the things I learned about myself in 2011. Well, so far that has absolutely been the case. And although it was a rough start, I am feeling like things will come together, just as they're meant to.

So here I am. I'm working on becoming the best me possible.  I like to think I'm already a pretty good person, and in general, I do know who I am and what I want. The things that I'm working on have a much greater affect on me than those around me. Over thinking and over analyzing things hurts me more than others. Taking things too personally hurts me more than others. Those are the things I need to change to become the best me possible. For me.