This post was first published on the Huffington Post on 6/27/16.
I’m a recovering, aspiring perfectionist. I say aspiring, because let’s be clear, I never actually reached perfection. Here is what I mean by that….
Up until recently, I wanted my life to be perfect.
And if it wasn’t perfect – I made damn sure that y’all thought it was.
I would frantically clean my house before you came over – because I couldn’t let you know that sometimes it would get dirty, or lived in, or that there was clutter on our countertops.
This drove my husband nuts, because we have different levels of cleanliness – and he doesn’t see the value in it as much as I do. So as I would be frantically doing dishes, he would be frantically staying out of my way, so as to not get yelled at TO CLEAN FASTER BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE COMING OVER.
You see, when I tried to be perfect, I wasn’t always nice either.
Trying to be perfect put a lot of pressure on me.
I would create unreasonable goals for myself, and then of course I would never reach them, because they were never attainable in the first place.
And when I wouldn’t reach them, I would inwardly beat myself up about it.
Or shut down.
Or stop trying.
For the longest time I lived in Latin America and I rarely spoke Spanish because I was afraid of making mistakes while speaking, so I just shut down and didn’t speak at all.
It took a long time for me to start speaking Spanish again. And do you know what got me speaking?
It wasn’t the lessons (though they helped).
It was that I started allowing myself to make mistakes. I started loving myself through my imperfections and forgiving myself for the judgments that I placed against myself.
I started letting myself be seen as someone who is learning, and stumbling, and not always getting it right.
And when I did that, it started to take the pressure off of myself. And I started speaking Spanish again.
People could see and accept me as me.
I could see and accept me as me.
I felt human again.
But it isn’t always easy. Sometimes when I share vulnerably, it makes me want to barf a little bit, because I get nervous of what other people will think of me and I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have shared so honestly.
Brené Brown calls it a Vulnerability Hangover.
She says it is a good thing – it is a sign that you have courageously shared.
I find that as I allow myself to share openly that it gives others the permission to do the same.
I recently started sharing on Tuesdays my #Truesdays as a way to bring more humanness to Facebook.
And as I’ve opened up and allowed others to see my imperfections – my friends are starting to share as well….
They are sharing about their divorces, their eating disorders, their pursuit for perfection, their loneliness, how they feel fat, their sexuality, and how parenting is hard.
We are coming together and breaking down the walls of imperfection and letting love and acceptance in.
I find that the more that I allow myself to be authentic, to share from my heart and to quiet my ego – that the more I am able to love myself.
As I share, I create more gentleness. For myself and those I love most, as I’m not so uptight all the time trying to be perfect.
After I move past the vulnerability hangover of my share – it actually feels quite good. It’s liberating.
This is a journey that I’m committed to.
It’s a journey that feels important for humankind. That we stop judging one another and start accepting one another – regardless of race, creed, color, situation or circumstance.
However, if I want Peace on this Earth – then I need to let it begin with me. It doesn’t work to beat myself up, and then expect others to always be kind to me, or to accept me – especially if I can’t accept myself exactly as I am.
You see there is power in my self-acceptance.
For in that self-acceptance is more love. For myself….and for me to share with my world.
There is freedom in that self-acceptance.
Freedom to keep creating, and falling and making mistakes. For I can’t succeed without falling down a few times – no one ever has.
The irony of this all is – the more that I vulnerably show my imperfections. The faster I’m succeeding and growing on the “goal line” of life – something that I would have never believed when I was aspiring towards perfection. I only thought I could be successful once I was perfect.
Ha. I was so far from the truth – as my success actually lies within my imperfections.
So, in the name of self-love, self-acceptance, freedom, success and world peace – I dare you to try sharing your imperfections. Share your #Truesday.
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