In my quest for greater self kindness, I have cogged onto this: I drag out the mantle of responsibility way more than is either true or necessary. That is right. I am not in charge nearly to the degree that I thought. Also, even if I am responsible, my efforts can be a million miles less than perfection and it is still probably absolutely okay. I don’t know why I didn’t learn this sooner. I don’t know why it felt “right” to be demanding and critical of myself and “dangerous” to cut myself some slack. The benefit of age, I guess, is that I am realizing how little of the world’s gaze is actually on me. It leaves space for me to question my internal whip-welding and to navigate to a new perspective.
I am trying out this new awareness within the context of my role as caretaker of our animal tribe. There are standing jokes floating around the internet that apply here; a depiction of the instructions for taking care of the animals and the image is of a ginormous academic-level chalkboard with an infinitely complex mathematical equation/flowchart. That’s me, only in my head. Today, I had an early appointment and guess what? I didn’t bring the horses into the barn and do the whole morning routine. No, I poured their grain out in piles on the pasture ground and I scrammed. Shockingly, no one died. No one even had a temper tantrum. Everyone is, right at this moment, peacefully grazing and enjoying the day as if their world was in complete order which it is because the order of their world does not depend so precisely on my exact efforts. Cut myself some dang slack. They are happy to give me that grace. Heck, they probably saw this morning as a novelty and it brightened their day. We are all benefiting.