Perfectly Imperfect

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-talavera/carrot-coffee-egg-parable_b_1107628.html

Carrot egg coffee

I would like give a shout out to the infamous Chris Russo, spinning instructor of the stars in Niles Ohio. #blackboxspinning. Chris told the story about the egg, carrot and coffee bean one Monday morning, and I fell in love with the idea that I was one of these three nouns. I made a note to blog about this in the future and moved on. 

Which brings me to yesterday when I reviewed the story of the carrot, egg and coffee bean. Hopefully you read the link above and follow as I dive into the heart of this blog. 

I realized something when I read the article. I really was hoping I was the coffee bean affecting everyone around me with my aroma and taste. However, I am all three at different times. Depending on the variables in my life, I have been the carrot starting out hard and brought to my knees only to be soft and mushy. I believe God has allowed this to soften my heart. If I allowed you to see into my heart, it’s not always pretty, but I am still alive and breathing. 

I have been the egg: a hard outer shell with a liquid center that heat changed to a hard center. I am not proud of this state but again God uses every situation for the good of all. What the enemy wants to use to destroy your life with hardened hearts and mindsets, God sets free.

My deceased step mother would often say about people, “They are legends in their own mind.” That’s me with the coffee bean. I can only endeavor to impact others. I know that I am human. I realize that I fail daily but I know that being all three is what God wants from me because through the mistakes of the egg and carrot I will learn compassion.

The coffee bean is really the closest to perfection which is why I struggle with it. Sometimes I am tasty and aromatic and others times no so much. He uses all things to grow us good and bad. In a perfect world we could just be born the bean and be robots in the Kingdom, or we can suffer and learn what love really is and help others. Not changing who he made me and using me with my gifts, talents and faults at the same time.  

When I was in my 20’s I realized that perfection was making me miserable. I thought I understood it but honestly not until I gave birth 3 times and was worn down by the beauty of the chaos of life did see I the real truth of being perfect to the outside world: It was an attempt to show the world I was worthy. Why until I was 43 did I feel like I have to be perfect all the time? To be loved my family and friends? If I have to be perfect to earn their love, I may as well die now. It’s a futile attempt. It will never happen. I am perfectly imperfect. Not ashamed and honored to be broken in the circle of life. I am blessed and reminded by the people in my life that perfection is not ideal. God literally brings me daily situations with people in my life and myself that I see the struggle we carry with wanting life to go exactly the way we want it to go. 

As I am always honest here I struggle too wanting no discomfort in my life. I know on the outside it’s actually comfy to wear but at the heart of perfection are the ugly sisters insecurity, control and jealously. Control is perfection’s bff. Because we have all convinced ourselves that if we can control everyone and everything, life will be perfect. Perfect means no pain right? No it’s a lie and I’m tired of pretending that perfection is welcomed in my life. I am hell bent on teaching my kids it’s ok to fail. To get up and try again. I refuse to let perfection haunt my kids like it has me causing me to be an approval whore.

Am I not good enough?  Am I the only flawed person walking earth?  Here’s a thought: Maybe if I whore myself out and do everything for everyone perfectly and wear myself out people will love me, choose me. Right? Perfection is a mask we wear. It makes me feel better about myself. I don’t think perfection is a gift. Striving to be perfect  has given me so much anxiety in life that I simply have let it go. Doesn’t matter if I want my life to be perfect it or not. I fail every day. I am human and I wear this earth suit around called skin so why not embrace my imperfections and just be?

There is a fine line between accepting my idea of perfectionism and laying it all out and down and letting God show me the truth. I choose God. We are all born with a certain path but I believe that we don’t have to decorate our pit that we choose to live in with perfection. I am perfectly imperfect, and I want to tattoo this on my body to be reminded it’s ok that I forgot an appointment or a kid at school. Judgement comes from perfection, and there is only one judge and it’s not me.

So, friends, here is to letting go of the pain that perfection brings. Please stop listening to the voice in your head that tries to lure you into killing your soul to be perfect. It’s not from a good source. That voice in fact is not really you. If you can hear it how can it be you? Funny huh? Recognize the voice but don’t digest everything you hear it say. Chew on this perfection bologna and see what you come up with. You might think I’m nuts, but there is freedom I promise you on the other side of perfection.

Lets look at the word perfect what does it really mean? What does God say about the word?

Greek translation:

téleios (an adjective, derived from /télos, “consummated goal”) – mature, from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process or a spiritual journey.

teleios: having reached its end, i.e. complete, perfect

This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).

Wow, so I am now even more convinced that God intended perfection as a means to an end. You’re called to work on your spiritual self as necessary stages but it a process. Sounds like when you take your last breath your life that is full of imperfection will then be perfect. So shout out to my soul sister Laurie who has taught me there is collateral beauty in the mess and life is a journey not a destination.

I want to thank god for my imperfections, lessons, and pain. I would still be 5 years old in pain and never would have escaped the torture of life. Life (God) knocked me over only to help me up. That is what life is about. Falling down and having the heart of forgiveness beside you.

Let me end on this thought:  Can we work on loving and forgiving?  Isn’t it harder to be pissed off all the time? It is for me. I choose peace and if you’re in my life and know me personally I am sorry for my imperfection. I may leave you sitting in the salon while I am spinning. I may forget my appointment to have my teeth cleaned. I may forget to leave a gallon of shampoo on the porch for you to pick up. I may tell you to come the house for an appointment when I really mean salon. I may leave you at school when I was supposed to pick you up. I may forget your swim suit when invited to a swim party. I may cut too much hair off and you ask me to tape it back on. I may yell at you and feel bad later. I may have expired food in my fridge and put it on your ham sandwich. I may not communicate with you as well as I should. I may not call you back immediately when you call. I may leave you out of a conversation or get together on accident. I may be pissed at you and judge you a few days weeks or months but eventually forgive. I may hate life for the moment when I am in pain. I may not like when you wake up and turn on the tv when I am trying to write, pray or meditate. I may swear (a lot). I may not close the cupboards. I may not visit often. I may not respect you as you require. I may still remember the pain you caused.  I may hold you to your word. I may be hard on you. I may gossip about you and feel terrible about it. I may screw up daily but I love fiercely and passionately. I will fight to the bitter end.  I am capable of seeing the truth and my faults. I will never lay down and give up on myself or anyone I love. I will hold you when you cry and cry with you. I will forgive my perpetrators and run the race with you and never leave you.

Side note: If you are not willing to work on yourself, I may set boundaries with you but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

Back to point. I am someone who you can fight with and still love. This is who I am. Take me or leave me; I won’t let it affect me. It’s ok if you don’t like me all the time. Chances are I don’t like you all the time but I love you. Readers, I would truly appreciate some feedback. Share some stories. Expose your heart. Take a giant leap of faith and be you. Spinning instructor, Chris Russo said just today “We are not always given what we want rather what we need.” God knows how to stretch you…..LET HIM.

 

The Man in The Arena

man-in-the-arena

There are many different paths we can take, but the end result is the same if we desire change. That is beautiful. It is generous. It shows me that I don’t have to save everyone with how I think their life process should be.  God is in charge, not me. Thank the Lord.  I mean that is an enormous load.  I have recently seen spiritual growth as not so black and white. I mean I really want a+b to equal c, but it just doesn’t usually work that way.  I’m sorry but just because I am learning about shame, vulnerability, inner child and ego doesn’t mean you’re going to see it today like I do.  It works like this. When the light bulb goes on in your mind and you can see that a person you love is suffering because their bulb (soul) is burnt out, you may have another bulb in hand ready to supply for help because you want to share the joy life really has but unfortunately they have to say yes to the invitation.  

Here is what I have learned.  We all have our own destiny, free will, and choices. It’s a shift in perspective that happens at a moment in time. Change comes down to this. Am I sick and desperate enough to not do this another day? Can I begin to love myself, my true self? We will all have a choice to take the call that God has for us.  When you have beaten yourself bloody and understand that you can’t do it your way and have real joy, then you have to try something else. Not because you’re not bright enough, but because you are blinded by independence. This is freedom.  It all boils down to the shame we live in, the abandonment we are so desperate to try and run from and the fear that pulses through our bodies at any given moment.  I’m not good enough is the underlying vibration of which we are all living. 

I don’t care who you are, if you let me break off the layers, being not good enough is the core reason we are all walking around broken. Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher and author who says “You’re not perfect, but you are worthy of love and belonging”. I am determined to teach myself and my kids this principle. If I start when they are young, I hope I can teach them not to depend on other flawed humans for their sense of worth. If I can teach them not to carry and bury their perceived shame and to know that they are loved and that anything else they hear in their head is a lie, then Jesus can take the wheel.

You know I went years without reading a book or learning anything new and guess what readers? I was not happy. I was not happy because I was not living in the destiny God had set for me. Folks you are not going to get there watching The Walking Dead.   It took me all these years not to obsessively scour my home in Clorox and clean my floors on my hands and knees. I was a slave to perfection because I was caught up so deeply in the fear and anxiety of not being loved and accepted. By the way, I created that obsession when I was very young but I carried it through my entire life. I am just now improving. If I could control the dirt, I could control people.

Oh if you could hear my laughter. It is absurd. If I could have all the hours back I spent making my life “perfect”. It’s actually really sad to me now.  I could have played a little longer with my kids or read them a book, but no, I had to freaking clean the freaking floor! For what??????  I had to be perfect. It’s all a lie.   If you could learn this now how set free could you be and more importantly your children?  I have this drive to help them suffer, but not the way I have. Yes, I said help them suffer. Not push suffering and discomfort away but let them sit in it.  Be the suffering and embrace the call to truth and freedom that is in the suffering.  It’s not a plague. Your soul knows this. That is why it attracts suffering.  The real you knows it will take you all the way to the top of spirit.

This last 3 months, I have never felt more alive. I recently met a woman that we’ll call Sue. She is adorable and she’s the kind of girl you know that is just kind and sweet. Sue is the perfect example of what God can do with a soul that is desperate and wants change.  Sue told me about her life as an adult dancer. She was in the industry for 5 years.  She said it was like a black hole that sucked her in every time she tried to get out. Sue took shame and turned it into tangible honor.  We recently have been talking more and it has most often been conversations about my blog.  Be honest to yourself and bare your soul and be awakened and vulnerable about the shame you have lived. Expose it, let the light shine in and through it, and it will flee.  I PROMISE.

Let’s go back to lies for a moment.  Shame is the cousin of lies.  Shame has this funny way of wrapping you in chains.  Shame lies and tells you that you’re not good enough and you don’t deserve to be anything other than that which your past defines you. Brene brown says, “The antidote to shame is empathy”  Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Ok so Brene you’re telling me that relating to someone can kill shame? Relating to others in an arena similar to your own who carry the same ugly cross as yourself is the answer? Know that you are not alone and that you are cared for and loved.

I’m going to link this whole blog today back to one area in your life.  Lies…..please readers stop believing the lies you hear in your own head. “I don’t need anyone to help.”  “I can do this on my own.” “I don’t have a problem.” “Everyone ______.”  “I don’t know how to change, I’m too far in.” Lies, lies, lies. This is exactly how you stay defeated and powerless. If you want change, then stand up and fight!

Here’s some raw truth if you ask anyone who has overcome any issue in their life. I promise you they did not do it alone. People who try to change alone fail every time. why?? They fail because God created us to be relational, period, end of story. There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship that touches your soul.  When you experience true love, no matter what it costs the parties involved, this is healing.  This is how we change the world one love at a time.  Never give up!!! If you’re reading this and you want to change, I encourage you to take the first step and have a little empathy for yourself. Get ready to fight because shame will try and knock you out and put you back in the ring for another round of punches.  Stop decorating your pit and climb out.  We will be all waiting for you at the top throwing down ropes to help you.  You must desire to get out of the pit of shame more than anything. 

It will be arduous, but I promise, love and empathy will set you free. Being honest and truthful with yourself is honestly the first step.  If you’re vulnerable you can beat shame once and for all. You are worthy of love and you don’t have to be perfect.  Here’s to fighting for yourself and for the people you love. I encourage you, if you have loved ones trapped in the pit of shame, implore them to keep fighting. And as for you, stand in the gap and love them.