This story is a complicated way of saying that becoming my best self takes work. Recently I had a conversation with someone close to me. She was struggling because there was a situation in her life she wanted to fix. But it was a problem for which there was no immediate solution – time was the only thing that was going to help. (In fact, it wasn’t really a problem at all – it was more of an uncomfortable reality.) You see, she’s a fixer. If something’s uncomfortable or imperfect, her instinct is to fix it, solve it, make it perfect.
I told her this… go home and do your dishes, and then leave one fork in the sink overnight. “No! I can’t do it!” She is someone who likes things in their place. Things out of place, situations unsettled, stuff left hanging – drives her crazy! My suggestion to leave a fork in the sink was nothing more than practicing the art of being uncomfortable, and letting it be.
Living uncomfortably with an unsolved situation was a struggle for her, so I suggested a practice that would help her learn to be ok with it. There are things I struggle with, and I have several mindfulness, meditation, and prayer practices that help me with those. There will never be a day when I have it all worked out perfectly. The best I can do is work hard every day to become a better person, and of course, go easy on myself when I don’t do as well as I would like.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”