Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Gifts of Imperfection


What is real self worth? I am thinking about real self worth and how sometimes we don't feel very good about ourselves. Usually when I don't feel good about myself it is because I have judged myself harshly for making a mistake. Our Prosperity Plus Class is small and we all know each other since we have been together for seven weeks. This week I spent the whole evening calling one of the women students by the wrong name! We even had a lovely conversation about her family during our break. At the end of the class, when we said goodnight, both her boyfriend and another student corrected me. I felt really bad about myself. That evening and for the next few days the inner critic was berating me harshly. It was nonstop. What kind of teacher was I? What kind of person was I? The message I was giving myself was I am not enough. This is a spiritual lie. I made a mistake. People make mistakes dozens of times a day, especially if they are living in creativity and spontaneity.

Brene Brown says we are hard-wired to experience love and connection. I agree. It is the Spiritual Truth. The essence that we are is Love. Love seeks love and nothing else.

Yet when we seek to perform, perfect and please, we will do the opposite of connect. We will keep our distance. It is hard for a minister to give up trying to please everyone because the nature of our jobs is to provide spiritual resources to everyone who seeks them. However, trying to please everyone is a self-defeating, impossible task. My colleagues and I need to be true to ourselves so we can model for our members and friends the true grace and love that flows when we realize that we cannot please everyone, and begin to make choices that please ourselves.

One of my close friends says when there is a situation that might be uncomfortable, she puts on her mental and emotional armor and off she goes. I imagine, with head held high and heart and mind well-protected, like a knight from King Arthur's court. It has been a strategy that she has used successfully in the corporate environment. Another one of my friends says he has no armor. It is REALLY TRUE. His heart is open and he is vulnerable at all times. Often he is the first to weep in times of grief but also in times of joy and celebration. With him, I always feel comfortable telling the whole truth.

When I truly accept my imperfection or mistakes, go a step further and share that with someone, then I begin to feel joy and freedom, instead of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

One of the ways you can check to see if you are choosing perfectionism, pleasing and performing over authenticity, check how often you say "yes" to something when you would rather have said "no." Too often we say "yes" when we mean "no" and we say "no" to things that would really make our hearts sing with a resounding "yes."

Here is something we can practice together. When you are asked to do something, take your time and ask yourself do I really want to do this? Or am I going to say "yes" out of a sense of obligation? Brown says: "Choose discomfort over resentment."

The gifts of imperfection are many and include more joy, more freedom, vibrant health, felling vitally alive and connection to the ones you love.

The Gifts of Imperfection
And So It Is!