Contrary to popular belief…I am not perfect.
It’s funny to say that because I have never ever once thought I was perfect nor that I am a perfectionist! I could make you a list of everywhere where I am not perfect; my health, my lack of cleaning, my mouth, my relationships, it could go on and on.
A few weeks ago the women’s book club, that I am in, started reading Brene Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection.” It started out amazing. Brene is a brilliant writer and knows how to speak to your heart and how to say it. She speaks with such wisdom, experience, and education. I was all about this book! This is great, I thought! Everyone should read it.
Then…BAM!!!!! Holy freaking crap!!! You know that moment when you feel like something smacks you in the face?
Brene went from being this author I was reading, to a person, that I swear to you, was stalking me!!! She has been watching me for a long time! Ok, let’s be real, she isn’t stalking me but maybe she is living a twin life to me! Everything she was saying is what I have thought, gone through, or experienced. It was like deja vu!!!! FREAKY!!!!
Brene speaks from experience and shares her life’s struggles and stories throughout the book.
“Practicing self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves. This is a tall order given how hard most of us are on ourselves. I know I can talk to myself in ways that I would never consider talking to another person.” This is so freaking true!!! How many times have you said to yourself “I can’t believe you screwed that up again,” or “how many times are you going to do that the wrong way?” Self talk, at least in my life, is so harsh and horrible.
Self-love is not practiced in my life. I wish it was. I wish it was easy but it is so easy to be so harsh on yourself. Reading through this section all I could think of was my teenage daughter and all the hurtful things she probably says to herself. How was I going to help her through tough things and help her not be abusive to herself if I couldn’t stop myself from doing that? How was I going to teach her to be gentle with herself when a hundred times a day I am berating myself? I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that but we need to figure out something to stop this self loathing!
Brown also writes how we all lack worthiness, as if worthiness is based on things we do. To love wholeheartedly, worthiness is not based on ifs, and whens, it is based on now. We need to practice grace with ourselves as much as we do for others. We are way more forgiving to others when they mess up. But if we did the exact same thing the grace isn’t there. Where did it go? How do we find that and foster that for ourselves.
Oh my GOODNESS!!!! Then Brene gets into shame vs guilt. NAH!!! I don’t do that to myself! WRONG! BIG FAT WRONG!!!! Guilt is I did something bad while shame is I am bad.
This goes back to that self-love for me. If I didn’t pull the chicken out of the freezer in the morning to defrost all day, “dammit Elizabeth, I can’t believe you screwed that up again, get your act together, now you are the reason your family won’t be eating a real meal.” I become such a slacking, unorganized, scattered mom just for not pulling chicken out of the freezer. REALLY?!!!! Why?!!! What good does that do?!
What moment do you shame yourself for time and time again? You could have been… You are x because of y. It happens all around us! This society is full of it! If you look on your phone while your kids are playing at the park other moms shame you. If you aren’t the mom that hovers over your kids, people shame you. If you do hover over your kid, people shame you. I can’t wait to read Brene’s book on shame resilience because having chronic pain and not being able to do as much as I wish and dreamed I would be doing I shame myself ALL THE TIME!!!!
She goes on to write about perfectionism. I had no clue I was even close to being a perfectionist. But here I sit after buying this website months ago and I still haven’t got it up and really running. Damn, I have every excuse in the book! You know why? Because I can’t figure out how to make the website look the way I want it to, so I don’t do it! I avoid it!!! (I finally gave in and hired a web designer because I wasn’t getting anywhere with my dreams and goals!!!)
We need to be striving daily for healthy self talk! I haven’t figured out how to make that happen (I almost wrote to perfect that). I need to get to this point fast! It is so hard for me!
My house isn’t clean because I can’t do it all at once and the way I want to be done. This blog isn’t coming together how I want it to so I keep putting it off. The kids aren’t behaving because I don’t spend enough one on one time with them. It is all lies and things we make up in our own heads. It is really harmful to live this way.
I can not wait to get to all the points in this book on how to “fix” my problems. And I really hope Brene stops stalking me but I am so glad she is watching me because hopefully I will get to the other side fast.
I totally suggest you reading this book! Especially for those who struggle because of illness or pain, our lives are not what we wanted them to be! Brene teaches how to be gentler to yourself.
I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the amazing things in this book but you really need to run off and read it, it will be well worth it!!!