Hello my fellow human Beings:
Was that a familiar saying from your childhood or is it something that you say to your kids now?
Hearing a parent say, “Just do your best and we’ll be proud of you.” is strong encouragement for a child of any age.
Always doing your best is very rewarding and encouraging. Even if we didn’t meet that sales target, or score that goal, or keep all our new year’s or Lenten goals and promises, we can still feel proud and satisfied with ourselves that we did our best.
Life has its ups and downs and some days are easier that others to live our best lives. But, if we beat ourselves up with “I should have’s” or “if only’s”, then we weigh ourselves down with doubt, despair and worries. Yet, if we can look back and truly say that “I gave it my best shot.”, then we can still hold our heads up high, even if we didn’t achieve that goal we set today.
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz, sets out the four new agreements or covenants from Toltec wisdom to free us from suffering and lead us to an enlightened experience of life filled with happiness, peace and love. He writes:
1. “Be impeccable with your word.” [Speak with integrity. Don’t gossip. Don’t berate yourself.]
2. “Don’t take anything personally. (Nothing others do is because of you.}”
3. “Don’t make assumptions.” [Ask questions. Express what you really want clearly.]
4. ”Always do your best. (Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”) [Explanatory comments paraphrased from book.]
He comments further about the fourth agreement, noting:
“We don’t need to know or prove anything. Just to be, to take a risk and enjoy your life, is all that matters. Say no when you want to say no, and yes when you want to say yes. You have the right to be you. You can only be you when you do your best. When you don’t do your best you are denying yourself the right to be you. That’s a seed that you should really nurture in your mind. You don’t need knowledge or great philosophical concepts. You don’t need the acceptance of others. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others. It is an expression of God to say, ‘Hey, I love you.”
Wouldn’t it be great if as adults we were being told by a loving caregiver,
“You don’t need to prove anything.
Take a risk and enjoy your life.
Do your best in every moment, whatever that best may be.
Express the God within you by being love and expressing love to yourself and others.
That’s all that matters.”
Well we each do have someone telling us these words of encouragement. IT’S YOU!!
Remind yourself to just do your best and you’ll be proud that you did.
So this week, as you continue to challenge yourself to find time daily to be still and to connect with your True Self, remember to always just do your best. You may say. “I could only meditate for 10 minutes today while I was showering, brushing my teeth, etc. and that was the best that I could manage today.” OK. You did your best today. Tomorrow is a new day. You can start again to do your best (really putting in effort) to strive for your meditation goals, etc. For if we each lived our lives always doing our best and giving our all, then we’d all be proud of the abundant lives we share!