Archive | May, 2012

Never Perfect

4 May

Never Perfect.

Never Perfect

4 May

I believe we are the product of nature and nurture, our genes and our environment and more influences than we can count. As a young person, we are molded and shaped by whoever raised us, and we are generally unaware of the influence of those people on who we become. We all know people who say, “That’s just the way I am” which is usually followed by an explanation of some action others found offensive. I know that because I used to be that person. I thought I was just born a certain way, and there was no way to change who I was. It was, perhaps, the most damaging belief I’ve ever had.

A belief like that is so limiting. It traps you where you are and doesn’t let you grow. It makes you a smaller person than you were meant to be. It keeps you from connecting with the Divine in the most profound ways and can kill you faster than alcohol and drugs if you truly believe it, and in most cases, it can be summed up in one word: unworthiness. Unworthiness is the product of believing things you were told by people who felt unworthy, and it creates a person who struggles; who feels unloved, insufficient and undeserving. It is as destructive as any flood, tornado or hurricane. The difference is that instead of damaging your stuff, it damages your heart, your mind and your soul. I’ve done the things I’m most ashamed of when I felt the most unworthy. I’ve treated people the worst when I’ve felt unworthy. I’ve let my home, my body and my relationships crumble because of my feelings of unworthiness, and it wasn’t pretty at all.

At some point, though, things began to change. I don’t know exactly when. Maybe it was when I summoned the courage to leave a marriage that was unhealthy. Maybe it was when I met a man who loved me far more than I thought I deserved to be loved. Maybe it was the moment I held a newborn in my arms, created by love and gifted by a Source greater than me. Maybe it was seeing the love and trust in my children’s eyes when they looked at me and wanting to live up to that love and trust. Regardless of exactly when it started, I began to feel differently about the world and about myself. I began to feel like, maybe, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was because someone that bad wouldn’t be given the love I had. I began to realize that my worth isn’t based on the grades I got in school, the mistakes I made or the goals I didn’t reach. I began to see that it was ok to accept a compliment with a simple thank you, rather than an explanation of why I really didn’t deserve the compliment to begin with. Most of all, I began to see that the unworthy mess I was, really wasn’t “me” at all, and that changed everything because I realized I had a choice. I could choose how to live, how to be and how to feel, not let circumstances dictate that for me.

Because I learned the possibility of choosing how to feel, I began to look for things that made me happy and lifted my spirit. For me, that led to meditation, yoga and writing. My entire life I had listened to outside sources to tell me how to feel and act. Meditation, yoga and writing require me to look inward and to let my inner voice guide me. I also discovered Terah Kathryn Collins, Marla Cilley and Pam Young, who taught me that my outside circumstances are a reflection of my inner circumstances. Each one has a very different approach to life and although I’ve never met them, they’ve mentored me in some of the most personal and private areas of my life. I began to create a life that makes me feel whole and complete and more real than I ever imagined it could be that feels like Heaven on Earth, at least for a little while. Then life gets in the way again like it has the past few weeks. The difference now, though, is that I know that there is something better and more real, and that inspires me to get back to that place.

I’ve often told younger friends and family members that my forties have been magical. For me it feels like I’m finally becoming myself. I’ve learned that, while I hope that you like me, my opinion of me is far more important than anyone else’s. I’ve learned that when people treat you badly, either you’re feeling really bad about yourself and are attracting some bad energy to you or they’re feeling so bad about themselves that they don’t know any other way to be. In either case, you can only control your reaction and action, so choosing the one that makes you feel best is the most important thing. I’ve learned that I can’t do it all, and even though it’s so difficult to admit my limitations and failures, it’s sometimes necessary to get the job done. I’ve learned that I’m not perfect nor will I ever be, but neither will anyone else despite the show they put on for the world and you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

Making my way back

3 May

Making my way back.

Making my way back

3 May

The past couple of weeks, I’ve missed writing regularly. There are days I longed to sit and write and pour my heart out. I realize now that, if I had taken the time to write, it would have sounded whiney and bitchy and just plain awful, because that is how I was feeling. I didn’t get enough sleep. I wasn’t eating the way I need to for good health. I wasn’t meditating, and yesterday it all boiled over.

I could choose to blame busyness, but I decided to give up that lie a while ago because everyone is busy and every day is a choice of what to focus upon. I could blame time and say there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but we all have twenty four hours per day. It’s what we choose to do with them that makes a difference. I could blame my family, and that is a mom favorite, isn’t it? No one ever does anything around here. Truth is that I do have to ask and then tell my kids and occasionally my hubby to do things more times than I would like, but that isn’t the main reason for the current state of my life. The blame for my whiney, bitchy, awful situation rests on me. Blech.

If confession is good for the soul, I’m about to do my soul a bunch of good so here we go. Yesterday I realized that school ends in five weeks. I haven’t done half of the things I planned to do before the summer of 2012. I’ve missed my weight goals. I’ve slacked on de-cluttering. I’ve come up short on financial goals and projects I wanted to do around the house. The thought of it brings me down, except the weight thing, which is up but not in a good way. Some days I look at the women I volunteer with and wonder how they do it all. How do they have husbands who travel, immaculate houses, great children, skinny bodies and tons of money to spend? How do they get to have it all? The answer is that they don’t, and I forget that sometimes. I forget that some husbands, who travel, don’t have the close relationship with their families that mine does. I forget that those large immaculate houses often have equally large closets and garages that hide messes I’m not privy to. I forget that some of those skinny bodies aren’t naturally skinny and that doctors can alter things I don’t even know about. I forget that some people who spend much more money than we do also owe much more than we do. Not that it’s always the case, but sometimes it is and it’s easy to take the façade at face value. It’s easy to forget that everyone struggles sometimes.

So today, I’m climbing back up and doing my best to focus on what I have done and what I’ve learned this past school year. I have learned what works in my life and what doesn’t. I’ve learned that taking good care of myself makes it much easier to take good care of my family. I’ve learned that taking some time for myself every day to focus on my spiritual and emotional growth pays huge dividends. I’ve learned that writing is a gift I am supposed to share with the world, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that as flawed and broken as I can feel sometimes, I have a family and a Creator that still love me even when I find it almost impossible to love myself. Those realizations are humbling and uplifting and the personification of Grace in my life.

If anyone out there does have it all together, I’d love to know how you do it and I’m guessing most of the people who read my blog would too. If you don’t have it all together, I welcome you to the flawed and very human club with a virtual hug and an “A” for effort. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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