This is the first time I’ve reblogged another person’s post, but my good friend Kala wrote something that I think the world would enjoy. She’s also teaching English in Spain and in this post she shares some of the ways she’s learned to cope with the challenges of living life abroad (and at home). Give it a read!
I recently wrote about how “The Alabaster Girl” by Zan Perrion helped me discover my desire for a life filled with beauty. Now I want to share another great insight I gained from that book.
“Doubt creeps in for all of us and we must recover. Constant recovery. Recovery every moment of every day. To stand back and say to ourselves, “No, that sliver of doubt does not serve me in any way whatsoever.” And phew! now we relax, for we have recovered. Three seconds later, doubt creeps right back in. The solution? Recover again. That’s just the way it goes. It never ends. We will never be rid of our reigning-in, play-it-safe, you-don’t-want-to-get-hurt self-talk. All we can do is shake hands with that cautioning voice, acknowledge it, and recover, recover, recover.”
I love the way Perrion describes recovery in this little excerpt. We usually think of recovery as something we have to go through after an addiction or illness, but it can also mean finding our center, mentally and spiritually, while dealing the stresses of daily life. For me, being centered means being present to the moment and connected with my core desires. It means finding the place within myself that can’t be affected by the external world, where a sense of calmness pervades all of my actions.
Of course, staying centered is much easier said than done. Life provides us with countless obstacles every day. Doubts and anxieties. Stressful situations. Painful memories and expectations of future difficulties. All of these things cause us to lose our balance in life, and each time we have to pause and regain it. We have to recover.
My normal tendency is to let life’s obstacles push me off balance. But that’s not really the problem. We are all susceptible to life’s stormy weather. That’s just part of being human. The problem is that we view those off-balance moments as failures. We dwell on them and wonder why we can’t stay centered all the time. Why can’t we just be perfect?
That’s why I find that quote so empowering. The mindset it offers is like a more grounded version of “do your best.” Instead of trying to be perfect all of the time, we can simply commit to finding our center over and over again. Accept and recover. Accept and recover.
And if you really think about it, that’s all we can do. Perfection is impossible. Getting knocked on our asses – mentally and physically – is inevitable. But we always have the choice to pause and recover.