Our increasing separation from the rest of the natural world, both physically and emotionally, has enabled a particular story of how life works to be told.
It’s a story of homogenised linear progression, of milestones and achievements, which are a measure and mark of our value and usefulness in society. So powerful are these markers that children can be labelled as failures because they haven’t attained the prescribed levels for their year group.
It feeds an idea that if we don’t get things right now, then the rest of our lives are doomed.
However, take a walk in a woodland, and observe the variety and eccentricity of plants growing there. Allow the tenacity of a tiny seedling which has found itself in a small crack of a stone wall, and yet is growing, to inspire you. Be intrigued at that branch on the pine tree, which was going along in a nice horizontal fashion, and then suddenly started to grow up at a ninety degree angle.
Marvel at the eclectic collection of colours and textures and shapes, each living thing finding its own way to move and respond to the conditions it finds itself in. Acknowledge that you too are doing the same…seeking out the best way you can of moving with life.
Its hard not to get sucked into the idea that to be a success means having the biggest and best and most of everything money can buy. After all we are constantly bombarded by advertising which tells us so.
Maybe true life success though is something much more subtle. Kindness, generosity and gratitude, just keeping going when life feels insurmountable and hopeless, pausing to ask “what’s the most helpful way I could respond right now?”, or “what’s the best I can do right now to keep myself well?” when you feel confused or challenged.
Maybe success can be accepting our inability to change things for other people who are struggling with life; perhaps by letting go of our struggle to make things better we become free to use our energy on supporting them to live with what is.