Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. Mother Teresa
Is it possible to live up to our own expectations? Are we able to follow our own advice to the letter? I don’t think so.
We all know forgiveness is better than not forgiving but it isn’t easy. It’s hard to forgive people, and harder still sometimes to be able to forgive ourselves for not being better.
I’m looking at something on practicing what we preach and the author says if Jim gets up and says, “I used to be the town drunk, but I found Jesus, I’m still a drunk, but I’m a forgiven drunk.” The author is saying he would have no credibility, and his testimony would be of no worth.
I think we better think hard and long about that. Most of us are not drunks, drug addicts, or cheating on our mates. We are regular people with small problems like gossip, holding a grudge, judging and misjudging others, not always being considerate or kind, not always putting others first, and many other shortcomings. We are not always the best we can be, and not always consistent in everything.
If we were “the drunk” and took a drink that is held against us more than if we have a piece of cake, or we engage in gossip. I’ve always had a problem knowing the difference between gossip and conversation.
My mom fills me in on the news of the family. Is this gossip? Some say it isn’t gossip if there’s a useful purpose to talking about someone, even it is “behind their back.” Are we really digging into the details or just sharing something we heard – clearly said – to further the conversation? Obviously, this is a blurry line.
Not nearly as cut and dried as did we have that drink or eat that cake. We can say things innocently and mean no malice; they can still take on a life of their own and be very negative in people’s lives. Innocent words can come back to bite us and other people.
Where does a blog sit? As a journey of self-discovery, it is exactly that, looking at things and sharing. It is not about being perfect or pretending to know what one does not know, nor what one does not do. It is a journey of discovery if it is anything at all.
Support groups are also about self-growth and discovery. I know from my book club that sitting and talking about some of the deep things in life is a form of connection we might not get any other way. Some say when we sit in a circle, the world heals a little more. When we sit in a circle, at a table, or holding hands cross-legged on the floor, we celebrate our similarities, not our differences, and this is empowering. We have and are sharing experiences.
When we go to Church or hear speakers we are part of a group of like-minded people. One of the problems the Church has is we can’t stand up and say we are still struggling, but we are all still struggling, no one is perfect. This is why some people feel they can never find in a Church what they find in a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous where they are honest, vulnerable and accepted.
To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. John Ruskin
Don’t we all want to be able, to be honest, vulnerable, and accepted? Isn’t this where all growth takes place? When we pretend we are better than we are, stronger than we are, more perfect than we are, this is when we put on the mask; this is when we are no longer living a life accepting ourselves warts and all. Is this when we become hypocrites; when we are not authentic, honest, and open?
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to put our best foot forward, what is bad is when we pretend that is our whole self. We need to be willing to live a good enough life, have a good enough marriage, and be good enough parents. When we are willing to be good enough, there is room to admit our shortcomings, and help others admit theirs, and feel supported in our struggles to be better. Perfection is the enemy of the good, pretending to be perfect is harmful. Why do we wonder why there are hidden secrets when we weren’t willing to let people admit to their frailties and weaknesses?
We should all be willing to stand up and say “My name is __________________ and I’m a ________________________. That blank could be filled with anything, greedy, gossipy, cantankerous, selfish, narcissistic, envious, jealous, or judgmental person. We need to accept ourselves how we are. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and pretending to be perfect isn’t acknowledging our imperfections, and we are imperfect, it is what it is, and it’s okay.
Brene Brown tells us to make peace with our imperfections, we are good enough, we look as good as we look, we can dance as well as we can dance, our taste in music is ours, our challenges are ours, our story is ours, Courage requires us to be willing to let go of worrying about what other people think about us.
Courage doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid, courage means we don’t let fear stop us. I am trying to embrace myself, imperfections and all. It isn’t easy, but then the things that are worth doing are never easy, are they?
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman unapologetically hersef; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. Steve Maraboli
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, acceptance, and love.
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