I am done with my rant from yesterday. Thanks for listening...I feel a little better.
A good friend sends me her writing every morning and I read it. It is good stuff, she is a very wise woman. Today she talked about perfectionism and worth. Two things that I struggle with, and because I am who I am, everyone who cares about me and is close to me, struggles with it in my wake.
I have unrealistic expectations of myself, which leads to unrealistic expectations of you. All of you. All the time. It is hard to live with such a definitive and deep conviction of what the world should look like what I should look like, how life should be.
I have these expectations of myself that are lofty at best. Unachievable a great deal of the time. And there is no room for failure, NONE! So I am a bit hard driving on all fronts of my life: eating, loving, working, friending, relationshiping, exercising. You name it, I have a way about it. And so do you, likely. And it isn’t my way, I can guarantee that!
The things that I expect from all of you on a daily basis pale in comparison to what I demand from myself. There isn’t a large margin for error and I charge pretty hard day after day. Sometimes, I hit my bed at 8:30, completely drained from the mental and physical energy that I have dispensed all day long. I literally have nothing left. And sometimes my day is not done at 8:30 and I have to dig quite deep to complete my responsibilities.
Anyone who knows me, knows this. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a task master, a perfectionist, a neat freak, controlling, and exacting.
Why am I like this?
Safety...or at least the allusion of safety.
I believe, and I really do believe, that I will feel emotionally safe if I can just lock it all down. The house, me, the kids, the job all look perfect. Then I can relax, except that never happens so I never get to relax...
It is silly really. I do not know ANY perfect people. Yet, I still hold myself and in turn all of you to this impossible goal. It is exhausting for all of us. So I am working on changing the goal for myself and that should help to let you off the hook as well.
I am going to work on just being human. And have that be enough and ok. I am going to do my best but leave the hard charging judgment and lofty expectations in the dust. My new mantra shall be: Participate in the grace of humanness.
I am sitting on my balcony in Palm Springs. Away for a weekend of rest and relaxation. Of course, I have no less than a million things I want to do (hike 7 miles to a waterfall, lounge by the pool, go shopping, take a nap, read a book, work on my own book, spend time with my friend, lunch, dinner...the list is endless). But as I sit here, as the sun sneaks up on me from behind, I can see that I will ruin the experience by insisting that it look a particular way. I can just be here, now. I can allow myself and the day to unfold and just exist in this beautiful place and be whatever it is going to be. And I can release myself to just be human. It doesn’t need to happen like this...it can just happen and I can just be present for it, whatever it may look like.
I am not sure where I got this feeling that I was overly responsible for everything. But I did. And it has served me well in many regards. But like so many survival skills, it doesn’t work in my life today. You get to be responsible for you, and I will stay on my side of the street and be responsible for me. And what I am responsible for is just being human. To do my best, always, but to allow for some grace when I falter, when I can’t ask for help, when I can’t let you in, when I can’t tell you the truth, when I am afraid and paralyzed by that fear. I can resists the “harder, faster, better” mantra and pick up the “participate in the grace of humanness” one instead. Reminding myself, one more time, that right now is good and enough. And so am I.