Some days being a good person just seems like too much hard work. In fact, at the moment, the spiritual path seems like far too much hard work. Is it meant to be this hard? Or have I wandered off the path and got lost in the undergrowth? I suspect the latter.
I think I am trying too hard, being too earnest in my endeavours. I keep noting my failings and shortcomings, vowing earnestly to do better and then berating myself earnestly for failing (yet again) to live up to my earnest desire to be better. My life has become a very small, vicious circle.
Recently I've been trying non-judgement (ah yes, another in a long, illustrious list of self improvement practices with which I have experimented) and it just ain't working. I am constantly judging everything and everyone. Even when I think I'm not... even when I pretend to myself that I'm not.
Then I moved on to acceptance of judgement, as I couldn't pretend I was non-judgemental anymore. At least it's more honest. So now I'm back full circle to an insight I had three years ago, that everything starts with acceptance. Acceptance dissolves judgement. Yet it's no band aid, there is no easy fix-it.
So this is the accepted truth. I'm tired from trying so hard and constantly rejecting myself for my own shortcomings; I have some winter virus and I have lost my appetite; James is also sick and teething, and he doesn't sleep for more than 3 consecutive hours a night before launching into a protracted blood curdling screaming session. I'm not only exhausted, I'm deflated: we've been outbid on yet another house. Our 'bijou' accommodation is home for a while longer.
Equally, the sun is shining, we are all pretty healthy, safe, warm, dry and well fed. Sometimes I have moments where I realise that my body is not me - because it feels heavy doesn't mean I have to feel heavy and flat. They are tiny moments, but worth remembering nonetheless.
That sensation I wrote of previously, of feeling God's complete compassion towards me, pointed to total acceptance of what is and deep non-judgement. Perhaps I have been aiming to run before I can walk, trying to recapture that peak moment. Perhaps it's time to slow down and accept myself, warts and all. Then, perhaps, I can extend that acceptance and compassion to others.