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Big Stretch

The other day I talked about the learning that arrives with difficult times. It makes me stretch. What I’m really glad about is that I don’t have to experience life-altering events to obtain the benefit. I can step out of the comfort zone in lots of ways, and I think the process that accompanies the internal squirming brings positive results.

Reaching beyond helps me discover who I am in relationship to the world. I’m not naïve. I know I occupy less than a speck in this cosmos, but if I zoom in to my immediate surroundings, stretching helps me see what is beneath the surface; how I interact with myself and others. Today, I like what I see.

I would even be my friend if I had the opportunity. It sounds narcissistic to say, but I think I bring some pretty interesting things to the table. I maintain qualities that I would look for in a friend… sense of humor, loyalty, compassion, empathy. There was a time in my life that found it impossible to identify any likeable characteristics in myself. I’m moving in the right direction I guess.

I feel like I’ve been experiencing flashes when I actually accept me for all that I am, even the jiggly gut, which will probably annoy the hell out of me until the day I die. It’s part of me, and I’m O.K. with it (for the moment anyway). I don’t judge potential friends by ridiculous superficial appearances so why should I criticize myself for comparable flaws? Never have I crossed someone from the friendship list because her batwings were wigglier than I found socially acceptable.

This also leads me toward the notion that I have the tendency to hold myself to higher standards as I expect in others. I understand that others make mistakes or totally miss the mark on occasion. And yet, I readily accept apologies, even if the person sucks at making them. By the way, I feel like I extend a really good apology, heartfelt and sincere. I think it’s because I get a lot of practice!

There are tons of people much smarter and wiser than I, but I am blessed with determination and problem solving skills. These two traits provide a solid foundation for me. I complain about crap that left me a little off-center as a kid, but all-in-all, I feel very fortunate. My parents did the best they could at that time, in that space. They loved me and instilled a value system that has served me well throughout my life.

While I may feel insecure at times in my abilities, I realize that when I decide I want to accomplish something, I generally can get the job done. Is it luck, determination, destiny, hard work or a little of each? It doesn’t matter. Today I’m thankful for it all and pause to appreciate myself as a human being.

Liking and accepting myself may be a stretch, but it may just take me to some interesting places…

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