Perfectly imperfect? That’s what we all are. Yet, knowing this, striving for perfection continues to happen. Year after year I tell myself, usually on my birthday, “This will be the year I….” and list off a multitude of things I would like to be better at. Kind of like a new years resolution. I promise to complain less, volunteer more, get to the dishes promptly etc. I am hard on myself and am constantly trying to improve. Now, this is not at all a bad thing. Striving to be your best self is great. Often times, I do accomplish the little goals I’ve set out for myself but the pressure that I put on myself to get there- well, it can be a lot and it’s not something I would let a friend do to themselves so why am I doing it to myself?
I have found that diving right in does the trick. As a list-maker, I strive on sequence and planning and crossing things off. I am more of a creative soul and an ideas person but I wasn’t setting myself up for success in a way that worked for me. So I drove right in.
I wanted to volunteer? I signed up and did it. I am doing it. I wanted to make more time for my blog? I set about on this cooking project to force myself into the habit which also is making me a better cook – another tick off the ole list. Sometimes jumping in is the best way to get over your fear. I decided to try it in other aspects of my life too, as an experiment to see in what other ways I was holding myself back. For example, have you ever wanted to compliment someone on something but were too afraid of how they would react? Who doesn’t appreciate a compliment? So many times I’ve admired a woman’s shoes or a man’s cologne and I’ve never said anything but I know when strangers go out of their way to compliment me, it makes my day. So I began to do it when the mood struck and lo and behold people thanked me and sometimes even struck up a conversation. Making small talk is not my favorite thing but since I ride the elevator in my building at least twice each day, it’s a great way to meet neighbors and because I’ve spoken up instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, instead I’ve met neighbors and made those connections.
I’m not “perfect” nor will I ever be, but actually doing means I’m making progress and I can give myself a break if I at least try. Less of “this year I will” and more of “Right now I’m going to” has made all the difference. It’s about living wholeheartedly.
Wholehearted Living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, NO matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night and thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging. – Dr. Brene Brown
Wholehearted living isn’t just a one time choice, it is a process and more than that it is a journey. It goes beyond ticking things off the ‘to-do’ list and doing more of what you love. It’s daily practice and digging deep – being Deliberate in thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation or simply setting new intentions, Inspiration to make new and different choices and Going and taking Action. All this takes courage and that’s all well and good but courage requires us to let go about what other people think – even people who we care about. It’s about having an honest conversation about getting in our own way and why we fail time and time again to put our actions into daily practice. If I hadn’t gotten into action I would still be mindlessly scrolling social media instead of writing this post. It takes discipline, sure, but more than that it takes heart. I encourage you to take action on something you have been “meaning to do” for some time. Call that friend, write that letter, send the card, bake that pie, check out that book, take that nap – whatever it is that will fuel you. Don’t wait until the new year, you have a new day tomorrow so use it but along the way embrace the perfectly imperfectness of you. More about this topic as I grow into it and dig deeper on the daily myself.
Ciao for now.