You Really are Remarkable

Saw a Facebook post today in which someone was practicing telling herself ‘I am remarkable’ by listing the things she does for others.
But is that what being remarkable really is? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of listing accomplishments as a means to bolster our self-esteem, whether these are done for others or for ourselves. Indeed, this can really help as a quick fix when we need a boost. But it can also cause some less helpful issues.


We can start to think that it is our accomplishments which define us as human beings. This can so easily lead to the perception that we must keep doing more, that if we aren’t achieving something then we don’t really count. Sometimes, we begin to feel that we must never say no to people, fearing that may appear selfish (how dare we put our own needs first?). We feel we must be ever more productive. Very often, it can lead to the intense need to fit more and more into our days, leaving us little time to pause and reflect, or do things for personal refreshment.


Sometimes it happens that we are prevented from accomplishing what we think we should be doing – whether through exhaustion, or emotional and mental health issues, or grief, or other outside circumstances (like a pandemic!). If our sense of self-esteem depends on our achievements, then we’ll quickly find ourselves feeling lost. We may also begin to feel undeserving, particularly of receiving support from others.


Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting we should not have goals, as having something to work towards is nourishing and exciting. I’m definitely not suggesting we shouldn’t do kindnesses for others, as this is always a part of our shared humanity. But we are truly remarkable because of who we are inside ourselves, because of our character and personality which have been formed through a lifetime of experiences. It’s in our whole attitude to life and the world, in our capacity for joy and love, for both giving and receiving. Who we genuinely are spills out to affect others and the world around us in thoughts and deeds, but it also affects us in treating ourselves kindly and loving ourselves no matter what.
So really, I’m encouraging a more holistic view of ‘being remarkable’ – with the emphasis on being.

Transient Light of Dreams

I had the good fortune some months ago to visit the forest at Cong, in County Mayo, Ireland. It truly seems a magical place, with giant redwoods, hanging moss, and a deep atmosphere of peace.spider web 2

As I walked, I saw in one tree a myriad of spiderwebs. Because it had just rained that morning, there were drops of moisture caught on the strands. Now, with the rain over, the shafts of sunlight pierced gaps in the leaf canopy to light up the glistening webs, showing the delicate beauty of each strong strand. At the centre of each was a small motionless spider, legs curled in, as if it were a small bead in the webbing. One web in particular was a perfect circle, and reminded me of a Native American dreamcatcher with its bead in the middle. I gazed at it for a while, then turned to look again at the moss-festooned forest.


A few minutes later I turned back … and there were no spider webs. The angle of the sun had changed ever so slightly, but just enough that its light no longer touched the webs. No matter how hard I looked, and knowing where I had seen them, it was as if they had never been there at all.

I walked away, thankful that I had been there in the few blessed moments when the transient light of dreams could be seen in a few delicate strands.