Settle the self on the self.

-Shunryu Suzuki

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

– Walt Whitman, Song Of Myself

The other day I was having a fair little crisis of my self. Pinching and measuring and comparing myself to all the whole, wide world and finding short coming after short coming, failure after failure.

My sweet friends reminded me that “no, life isn’t a competition” and “look, Allison, look how far you’ve grown and how well you’ve done getting away from your past.” I remembered that I do the things I do because I deserve my love and effort just as much as the whole wide world. I deserve my compassion, too.

Like everything, growth and self acceptance is not perfectly linear. We just have to keep at it. Practice makes progress, not perfection.

Love yourself,