I’ve got some news for you: It’s okay to have imperfections.
Have you seen the image going around with all the emojis that show the progression of a man’s emotions during the day versus a woman’s? It looks like this …
It is a little silly but I can relate. Can you?
From hour to hour, sometimes minute to minute, I don’t know what hits me. It’s sunshiny and perfect and dark and hopeless all in the same day. I go from feeling on top of the world to a heap on the floor.
I am a one-woman show. Get your popcorn and take a seat.
Lucky for you, I’ve set up a tent in the self-help aisle at my local bookstore and have meditated extensively on all the wisdom contained therein. I feel ready to share with you my knowledge.
Ha ha, or boo hoo, depending on the moment, right?
The truth is more like this: I don’t know how to stop the roller coaster of ups and downs that some days hold, but I am just beginning to embrace the ride.
You know why? Because I am starting to realize that I am NORMAL. Even though in our photo-shopped world it looks like everyone else has got it all together, the truth is we are all just winging it. I don’t care who you are and how successful your life might seem, every single person has moments of both sheer joy and deep doubt. Feelings of great belonging and utter loneliness. Everyone.
It is what makes us human.
It makes us real.
And best of all, it makes us more compassionate and kind.
I have a therapist friend, who taught me to say to myself when things seemed especially upside down:
“Sweetheart, you’re a mess.
She told me to say it slowly and with love aimed right at my inner self.
I am learning to admit that sometimes I just can’t handle things. Sometimes I need to be ever so gentle with myself and experience the relief of knowing that I can have a bad moment, or a bad day, but that it won’t last forever (and if it does, find yourself a therapist friend, please, do that for yourself).
Be compassionate with you. Know that you can do better next time; you get another chance.
As an added bonus when you are this kind of loving with your own upside-down self, you become more compassionate with others who are on their own roller coaster ride of life.
That is the lovely secret about being real and true.
When you understand that everyone else is a mess at times, just like you, humility shows up and takes the helm. You stop being in competition with everyone else’s perceived perfection and instead of trying to outdo or succeed or grow bitter over what you don’t have, you are able to show up and care, the greatest gift anyone can give.
Our emotions are real and profound and keep us grounded. They turn on a dime and betray us when we least expect it. When we mean to be strong and brave, sometimes the tears flow and knees shake. Sometimes we can’t photo shop out all the imperfections, they just seem to be too much. But, being perfect is no way to live anyway. Oh, and, impossible to achieve. Being “good enough” is closer to reality, and so much more attainable.
Admit you are a mess, like everyone else. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the rest of us who are slogging through.
Embrace the ride. Enjoy the journey.