For some it’s coffee. For others it’s a vigorous workout. For most of us, however, a morning ritual consists of the simple matter of trying to find a reason to roll out of bed.
We all have a higher self, whether you call it your soul, inner being, God, your conscience, consciousness or the universe. It’s the aspect of you that is always calmer, wiser, and gentler. It’s the part of you that says “be still” when you’re angry, “be brave” when you’re scared, and “I’m here” when you feel alone.
This is what I imagine our higher selves wanting to say to us as we open our eyes in the morning:
“It’s a new day. Not everyone gets a new day. I’m not trying to guilt-trip you, I’m just trying to convey the miracle that is a new day. It’s a chance to start all over, to do things differently…better. If you screwed up yesterday, that’s OK – no, really. It seems bad now, but things will get better. Life and emotions are transient. It’s hard, even exhausting, to be angry, sad, or scared for an extended period of time. At some point, you’re going to stop and say, “It’s enough. I’ve done this enough. Time to change the channel.”
I know that as you look in the mirror, there are going to be things that you don’t like to look at. I want to remind you, however, how beautiful you really are. Beautiful doesn’t even sum it up. Wondrous. Phenomenal. You are the prime example of poetry in motion. The way you speak, the way you move, may seem utterly, even insipidly human, but your body houses a consciousness that could fill a room, a city, if it wasn’t contained in this wondrous vessel. Treasure your body, because it’s magnificent. Love every wrinkle, every freckle, every beauty mark, every perfect imperfection. Your body can do wondrous things. Look deep into your own eyes and whisper these three powerful words every morning: “I love you.” It’s a magic spell that can change your entire outlook and day, and make wonderful things happen.
As you go out into the world today, know that you have everything you need to get the job done, create something amazing, and make an impact. Dismiss that doubt in your mind. Doubt is like a little dog trying to act like a big dog – don’t be fooled, it has no real power. And don’t let the little things that other people do get to you – the driver who cuts you off, the rude customer, the boss who demands a little too much of you – discontent may be their reality, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Just focus on what you want and expend the energy you need to make it happen. And if you all want to do is sit in front of the TV in your underwear eating cereal, then do it. As long as it makes you happy, really happy, then do it.
Don’t dedicate a second thought, say an unkind word, or shed a tear for anyone who disrespects you or doesn’t appreicate you. If you want love, love yourself more. If you want kindness, treat yourself with kindness. Don’t get mixed up in other people’s dramas. Realize that anything you desire to receive from others is something that you should be giving to yourself. Let go of the past and of the people who have hurt you. It’s done now. The more you dig up and rehash all the regrets of the past, the more power you give these people. Remind yourself that the present is all that matters…and that once again, you are an amazing human being, in spite of any faults you may have. I also want to lovingly remind you that in life, there are no mistakes or failures, only learning experiences.
Speaking of faults, consider whether there is anything you would like to work on. I’m not staying that there’s something wrong with you; in fact, I like you as you are – I think you’re quirky. However, self-improvement is always a noble and valuable endeavor. Wisdom is infinite. Maybe your self-esteem could use a little polish. Maybe you’ve noticed that you could be a little more patient. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to be nicer to yourself. I don’t mean being selfish or self-absorbed. I mean treating yourself with respect and dignity; being gentler when you make a mistake; reminding yourself daily that you are special.
As you lay your head down at night, you’re probably going to run through your day and regret having done something, regret not having done other things, and keep a tally of your failures. While I encourage you to acknowledge the things that you can do better for tomorrow, I implore you to take the time to express a thanks for all the things that went well today, even if the only blessing you have for the day is wearing matching socks. The wonderful thing about gratitude is that the more you think about the things you’re grateful for, the longer the list becomes. And suddenly, everything that went wrong doesn’t seem so bad, or is at least a little less upsetting.
Oh, and do one thing for me: Smile more.