A few days ago I realized that I would never be the best. Not the best yoga teacher, or the best meditator or the best psychotherapist. I experienced quite a bit of relief in that moment. If I was never going to be the best I could stop striving so hard for something that could never be realized. That was a beautiful moment of liberation. Freedom from old beliefs such as “if I’m not perfect people won’t like me”.
So in the grand Hollywood style celebrity sense of being the best, it is very unlikely that I will ever make it. However, my kids think I’m the best, and they’re right! In my 8 year old son’s reality, I am the best mum in the world. No-one could argue with him. No-one could bring him another mum and convince him that she’s superior to me. For now at least, my son will hold the belief that I am the best mum in the world and every time he shows me in some way that this is how he feels is a very beautiful moment indeed :oD If you have kids you know what I’m talking about, in your child’s world you are the best, and this is every bit as real as any other version of being the best. (as adults we also know that this belief may not last forever, our parents are just people after all).
But I also accept that I’m the best that I can be, I’m good enough. We are limited in our ability to fulfill our potential by all of the preceding moments that brought us to this point, to this moment. Your parentage, your genes, your education, the friends you had as a kid, the sport you played at school, the music you listen to, your eye colour, your pet, the bed you sleep in…..Everything that is and has ever been in your life has an influence in where and who you are right now, which in turn determines what your best can be right now.
For most of us, if we were asked “are you doing the best you can?”, we would probably look down at our feet and say “no, I guess I could do better”. But doing better is only possible if you are mindful of the fact that in every moment of your life you have choice. If you are flowing along in the stream of life allowing the currents of conditioning and reactivity to pull you along and wash over you, then you are being the best you can be, under those circumstances that have arisen for you.
On the other hand, if you are mindful of the way things affect you, if you are aware of your thoughts and physical sensations and can feel the emotion arise within you, and the hormones begin to react to the thoughts, then you have choice. This choice enables you to be in control if your actions, and to some extent, the consequences of your actions. Being aware and mindful of the factors that cause you to react in any situation gives you the power to overcome those habitual, conditioned reactions and make better choices. Choices that lead you to being the best you can be, a best that is better than it was before you were mindful of how beautiful this moment truly is.
I am conscious of being the best I can be, I know much more about my conditioning, why I react the way I do in particular situations, my triggers and habits. Not all of them are bad and need to be overcome or extinguished, but to be aware of why I am the way I am and mindful enough in everyday life to have some choice about whether to allow those forces to determine my response to the world is a powerful thing.
Right now, I am doing my best, I’m good enough. And that’s enough to tell me that this is a beautiful moment. Now I can stop struggling and enjoy it.
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