Growing up, I developed a fear of getting messy. Somewhere along the way, I fixated on trying to be perfect, to achieve, to show the world that I was okay. I had this idea that to be strong, and to be worthy, I had to achieve something…I didn’t know what, but I knew it had to be perfect. I was determined that I wouldn’t be a burden. I would take care of me, and people could rely on me.
If I felt sad, I would retreat, and handle it myself, reemerging to the world only when I could smile and be of use. I didn’t want to burden. I focused on helping, cleaning, sorting, fixing. I wanted order in an otherwise chaotic world, because I wanted control. If I had control, I would be safe…safe from getting hurt, safe from rejection, safe from sadness.
Control is an illusion. I have as much control over how other people are, or how something will turn out, as I have control over the weather and what time the sun will rise. It’s out of my hands. I can only determine how I show up every day and make an active and conscious choice. I can commit to showing up as me and creating and spreading love and joy from how I show up. As I shared before, I can only be in this moment, right now.
On this journey, there have been days of laughter and joy, and days of tears and crushing weight. And that is okay…because it’s a journey. There is no magic portal to take to arrive at “perfectly well-adjusted” me…I get to craft my perfectly imperfectly experience each day.
“Today is a good day, I didn’t cry.” I said it without thinking, making a joke to ease the underlying embarrassment I felt for feeling weak. “But why is crying as a bad thing?” I was surprised by the question — because in my heart I knew it wasn’t…but my words were showing that part of me was holding onto this old idea of strength and perfectionism.
Could I find a way to celebrate tears? Yes, tears! I’m crying because I’m opening, seeing and learning…Yes — I stumbled — but I stumbled because I took a risk…I committed myself. I get to reframe how I see and embrace results…never taking a risk because fearing losing means I have already lost. When I take a risk and fully commit, that’s worth celebrating. I get to celebrate the journey and my path there…and I get to learn from it. I get to get back up and play again…committed to me.