For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.
-Eric Roth (often incorrectly attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald)
As winter slows life down and we turn inward, some of us discover that we are not exactly where we would like to be. You can impose swift and strict measures in an attempt to “fix” whatever aspect of yourself you are uncomfortable with, or perhaps it may serve you better to rest in the discomfort, quietly listening to what you would like to come next.
We’ve all made decisions we aren’t pleased with and taken action we aren’t proud of. Ideally, this wouldn’t be the case, but it simply is, and it’s okay in the sense that we are all learning and growing. This isn’t to say we aren’t responsible for ourselves or our behaviour. Whether you happen to be the person who has put something negative out, or are on the receiving end of something difficult at this particular moment only matters to the extent that you are taking appropriate steps to take responsibility for yourself. Beyond that, it’s important to remember that humans are complicated, the whole lot of us. We have stellar qualities, benign aspects and downright destructive tendencies. We are full of contradiction, at once grappling with good and bad, neither completely defining us.
Alongside the duality in each of us is the necessary practice of grace. We must take care of ourselves. We must treat ourselves with patience and kindness and love, even when we do not see in ourselves what we want to see. Emerging from where we give space to truly see ourselves as we are is the path forward. Be gentle, but gather all the courage and faith you can to reach for what you want in this life. No matter where you are, or how you are feeling, you deserve that opportunity. It’s also true that no matter what your circumstance, you are the only one with the power to build and change your life. But observing grace will make it easier, every time.