I mess up a lot. I work to be kind, but I'm not always. I work to be loving, but I'm not always. I work to be patient, but I'm not always. I work to not lose my cool, to not raise my voice, but I don't always. I work to be forgiving, but I'm not always...and on and on and on. I strive to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk and it's hard and I mess it up...a lot.
In our effort to improve ourselves, it can be easy to get caught in the trap of the pursuit of perfection. We can easily get down on ourselves for not being perfect and not having it all figured out.
This thing called change, or personal improvement, or spiritual growth, or whatever you call it, is messy, it's tricky, it's challenging, it requires diligence and it's never-ending. Once upon a time I thought I would get to a point where I would have it all figured out, where I would be to the other side, where I would be done. Well, that notion it turns out, was a silly one. I seem to manage to keep needing to learn and relearn and practice and grow and stretch and practice. It can be easy to give up or get down on yourself for not being perfect, but that's not how it works. We are students in this thing called life.
Our job, as I see it, is to keep plugging away. To keep moving forward, continuing to learn, practice and grow and loving ourselves through it all, as you are in this moment perfectly imperfect striving to do your best and learning from your mistakes.
I just keep working to do better, working to do my best, whatever that is in this moment, today. Learning from my mistakes and working hard to not make the same ones again.
In The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he states in the fourth agreement, "Always do your best. Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good."
If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, take small steps in the right direction, love yourself in the process, always do your best, no more and no less, and know that you are a beautiful work in progress, perfectly imperfect, then that's all you need to do.