Thursday, June 6, 2013

Celebrating Imperfection

"I drive myself less crazy when I focus on the things I can control." --Love & Logic Facebook feed

I've been doing a lot of self-improvement this year.  For some reason, I have decided to embark on a journey of discovering self-love and improving the type of person I am.  This has been a difficult, often painful journey.  Just this morning I was thinking about it and wondering, "Why now?"  Am I getting wiser as I get older?  I'm not so old (unless you ask my kids) that I don't have a whole lot to learn.  

But in the past 6-8 months, improving my relationship with myself has been a top priority.

I think it really started when I went to a 3-day workshop called "Letting Go of What Has You" back in October.  For about 6 months prior to that I had been seeing a therapist for depression and general angst, and she encouraged me to attend.  I wasn't sure I wanted to, but she pushed hard enough that I did.  For this I am thankful, because it started me on a steeply uphill, but ultimately rewarding and life-changing journey.

As my journey has progressed, it seems that the tools for what I need just manifest themselves out of sincerity.  This is important to me, and because I am dedicated, everything I need is simply being made known with little to no effort on my own.

After the Letting Go Seminar, I attended PTI.  Out of that came a community I didn't realize I needed.  I already knew I was lonely, but hadn't realized how lonely I really was.  Friends like these only come along under rare and fortunate circumstances.  Honestly, the bonds formed after experiencing PTI are like none other I have ever known.

My home needed cleaning, and I found the courage to ask for help from my parents, then shortly after that, I re-discovered my Beauty Box.

As I gained momentum, my guilt and shame over some poor parenting habits came to the surface.  It was painful to work through them, and I really am making an effort.  It is really, really hard to be the kind of Mom I want to be.  I have had to work through and release some of my preconceived notions, and some of my own guilt.  With the internet right there, I had really spiraled myself into feeling like I was an utter and complete failure.  I was setting my standards based on what I was reading on Facebook, Pinterest and the blogs of the world.  How can I possibly measure up?  I must be a failure.

I'm not!!  I discovered Love&Logic parenting, Celebrate Calm and The Orange Rhino.  I now get their newsletters in my email, and I follow them on Facebook.  I don't need to be scolded about yelling, reminded how terrible TV is, or berated for thinking Otter Pops are a good snack.  I need to be reassured that parenting is hard, that being compassionate every second of the day is not humanly possible, and that it is okay to dust myself off, apologize to the kids, and try again.  A few tips for being successful for the next time are always welcome encouragement as well.

Then I started running.  I have discovered that I think I might like it.  The running just started really on its own, with encouragement from a friend.  The app I used was so easy, it tricked me into thinking I could do a 5K...and it was right. I still laugh when I think about it.  Okay, so it wasn't quite that easy, but it really was surprisingly less difficult to train for than I thought it would be.

So many opportunities for fine-tuning myself have shown up in the past few months.  I really wonder what the corner was that I turned, but I definitely like it.

I am working on being more forgiving of myself.  My imperfections are a part of me, they are who I am.  This doesn't mean that I can't polish them up a bit, maybe sand down a few rough spots.   This quest to recognize the beauty in my life is an adventure.  In simply celebrating my imperfections, recognizing what I can do to bolster them up, and having greater love for the little things, I am feeling lighter and cleaner.

Some parts are still pretty rough.  Housekeeping is such a drudgery and a challenge for me.  I recognize this about myself, but the next step is to have enough love for myself to refuse to be a victim.  I will not be a victim of a messy house, or my stubborn refusal to maintain it.  I will do what I need to do to have a pleasant, live-able space for my family...and I will get back up again when I fall.

Seeing others with compassion is something that has gotten easier for me this year, while having pride in myself and believing in my own power.  I was challenged by a colleague to transfer this to having compassion  for myself.  I really do feel like I am on track, and it is a beautiful thing!

Today, I celebrate imperfection and everything beautiful that entails. I celebrate my humanity, that I am dust, that my imperfection gives me opportunities for redemption in my relationships. Imperfection means I walk without the burden of the perfect answer, the perfect solution…because sometimes there isn't one. It relieves me of the compulsion to control people and situations. Imperfection allows grace and mercy to flood my life. Imperfection means right relationships are more important than right behavior. –Celebrate Calm

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!

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