Thursday, July 3, 2014

"The Gifts of Imperfection": A life guide

"How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves." - Brene Brown

Brene Brown's Ted Talk is one of my favorites of all time.  Her quality to allow people to feel deeply and take a hard look at the way they live their lives inspires me.  Researching predominately in the areas of shame and vulnerability helps her to guide people to a "Wholehearted Living" revolution. She defines wholehearted living as living with courage, compassion, connection, and deliberate boundaries. Her book "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" serves as a guide to wholehearted living and can truly change the way people view themselves and their lives.

Right when I moved to Crystal Lake, one of my very dear friends had a package waiting for me to welcome me to my new home.  Inside she had bubble bath, some tea, a cute towel and the book "The Gifts of Imperfection."  I cried a little when I got the package.  Moving is overwhelming; the most overwhelming part is how much new there is every single day.  New is great and change is important, but getting a wonderful package from home from someone who truly knows my soul made my whole week feel more normal.  My friend's package was another reminder for me to stay open and know that I will find exactly what I need, exactly when I need it if I give myself a break.

Giving myself a break is sometimes easier said than done.  My husband and I are the types of people who want to have everything completed RIGHT NOW, but after a major move to a new state where we know virtually no one, we are learning patience. Patience with home renovations. Patience with finding places. Patience with our daughters' see-sawing emotions as they transition away from everything they know into this new space, and most of all patience with ourselves.  Brene Brown's book helped me to love myself even more through our new life beginning here and recognize that loving myself is the key to success through this journey of change.

Each chapter of her book leads the reader through a series of guideposts (Letting go of what people think, letting go of perfectionism, letting go of numbing and powerlessness, letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark, letting go of the need for certainty, letting go of comparison, letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth, letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle, letting go of self-doubt and "supposed to," letting go of being cool and "always in control"). The guidepost titles themselves were enough to motivate me, but Brown's soothing tones and down to earth approach on each of the topics through her life stories helped put everything in perspective for me especially during this huge time of transition in my life.

I don't need to be certain and being vulnerable in this new space is a given, but after reading Brown's lessons, I feel that I can give myself permission to be imperfect like when I tripped and almost did a face plant at the splash pad while trying to retrieve my 5 year old from the too high monkey bars, or when I accidentally hit the bumper of a car in the parking lot as I adjusted my GPS on my dashboard and tried to talk to my daughter at the same time.  All this new takes focus, and I am constantly reminded that I need to concentrate to achieve that focus.

There are bound to be missteps, but I feel like Brown's book gave me even more tools to join the wholehearted revolution.  I might not be perfect, but I am proud of who I am and even prouder of the person that I am becoming.

Each night as we sit down to our family dinner, my daughters, my husband and I all say our "charm" for the day ("charm" was a term that our daughter, Story, came up with when she was 3.  It means to say what you are thankful for from the day). My charms come so rapidly since we have moved to this new community.  I have so much to be grateful for - a beautiful new home, my amazing and quirky little family, friends who send me packages from home, my health, being surrounded by love and for new experiences and opportunities. Most of all I am thankful that I am beautifully imperfect and able to embrace myself exactly as I am.

1 comment:

  1. I for one think you are pretty dang amazing!

    I haven't read this book but I did read Daring Greatly which I LOVED. I think I underlined half of it. haha. Brown has this knack for straight-talk that's not fluffy or annoying but really gets at your core. Sometimes it's like... so obvious that it's not. Ya know?