Years ago, my friend and I had a little debate. I think this was in high school, or maybe college (Hi Danny! I miss you!), and I think my friend brought it up. The essence was this: Is it possible to be satisfied and still want more? I argued on the side of YES...and I still do. I'm bringing this up again not to say, "hey, I still think I'm right about our argument 15-20 years ago!" (that would be annoying!), but because I've thought about it a lot over the years, and lately I've been thinking about this again. At the time, it was just one of our many lively discussions, but in my mind, it has taken root and grown, and become really important to me.
In fact, I think it is key to my journey, and maybe to your journey, so here is my expanded version:
YES! And also, yee-haw! I am totally feeling this right now, all the more because it can feel like such a debate or an oxymoron. Is it ok to love myself so freaking much and be kind to myself? But what if I become complacent? Is it ok to hustle and strive? But what if I get exhausted?
What I'm playing with is walking the wiggly balance beam right between these, or actually...not seeing them as two separate things, but as...maybe a teeter-totter. The one side keeps the other in balance. It's not either/or, but somehow both/and. There are days when I lean more heavily to one side or the other, but both are needed, both are key. Radical self-love: a hard pass (in the face of culture, of media, of rejection from others) on denigrating who I am in this moment...AND a bright and shiny inclination skyward, an encouraging "come on, you! let's go!" to myself.
(And I want to say, just in case there is someone feeling a little "yeah, right" about this: right now, today, for me this feels clear as a bell, and pretty exciting. On other days, it's all hard. Self-love seems far from possible, and I don't even want to leave my home, much less try to learn and grow. These days are difficult...and they are part of the acceptance. When I feel I deserve love the least is when I need it the most, and it is a practice.)
So this is my philosophy, and as I am sitting her writing about it, I'm realizing that it's behind pretty much everything I do, personally and professionally. It's the basis of how I coach (You are amazing, and so much is possible!), it's why I teach about mindfulness (for beginners and for continue-ers), which is all about non-judgement and acceptance AND asks us to keep on practicing, beginning again in each moment.
This is exactly what's behind the supportive community that I'm excited to begin soon! A group of us will be getting together monthly through the end of the year to support each other in our intentional growth, while holding space for self-acceptance and love that is not dependent on doing anything at all.
I'd love to hear how all of this sits with you. I'm wishing you joy and wellbeing as you work with acceptance and ever-changing, not-always-comfortable growth.