Wherever you are is always the right place.
There is never a need to fix anything,
to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul
and start at some higher place.
Start right where you are.
~ Julia Cameron
I came of age during a time when one was always doing some kind of "work" on oneself. I've been therapized quite a bit, by psychologists, counselors, ministers and shrinks and, at one time, my self-help bookshelf was a duplicate of Barnes & Noble's. If you weren't working on a personal issue, you were working on a relationship or toward a goal.
And, of course, I've been working most of my life on my body.
Life doesn't seem much like work these days, at least not the kind of work I did in the '70s. Even the body work is going better; I'm more active, more physical, busier, and have less time or inclination to eat mindlessly now that spring is here and I'm outdoors most of the time.
It seems like I'm working a lot, in the more traditional sense of getting things done and accomplishing tasks. Weeds grow. Seeds don't sprout, and thus entire rows need to be reseeded. Plants need to be staked, sprayed, fertilized and tended to. The house doesn't clean itself, meals don't cook themselves and the grass continues to grow. There's always some kind of work to do, but it doesn't involve my head so much as it does my body.
There's one exception. As I've gotten older, I've begun working for causes.
Most people who grew up in the '60s and '70s cut their teeth on causes. They were anti-war and pro-earth and going green and saving seals, whales, wolves. Me? Not so much. It wasn't that I didn't care, but I was a young wife, a much-too-young mother and I was out of the loop in which my peers traveled. They were in college, protesting the war machine and saving the planet. I was … changing diapers and mixing formula.
I think adopting causes at my advanced age (heh) has been good for me psychologically. I feel young and vibrant, though I'm sure I don't look it! I'm passionate about at least a couple of important issues (single-payer health care and sentencing reform are the biggies). I was recently elected president of our county Democratic women's club, another opportunity to work for something outside myself.
Inner work is good, don't get me wrong. At my age, though, I should be done with it. It's high time I accepted me for who I am and if you (that's a rhetorical 'you') don't like me, well, that's not my problem. Trying to get everyone I know to like me is a fruitless pursuit. I don't like everyone I meet, either.
What I think of me is pretty darned important. What you think of me is none of my business.