The easiest way for me to define finding balance in my life is the concession I make between being perfect and accepting that I’m not. I am a passionate person who wants to excel at everything I do (good quality to have), but because I am human, cannot do so. If I accept that I always give it my best shot, then that should be an excellent quality to have but because I tend to beat myself up for not achieving that ideal, it becomes a detriment. I become critical of myself and I become paralyzed with fear of trying to do something, anything. I can’t make a decision because I don’t trust that the decision I make will be the correct one. Hence, I am 34 still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I consider myself a jack of all trades, master of none because I start a new hobby, get super excited about it, put my all into it, then quit. My husband makes fun of me and says that I get into something new every 2 years. I used to get super offended by that, but he’s so right. Stupid husband.
So, what’s the solution? For me, it’s been accepting myself exactly as I am in this very moment. It’s accepting my flaws but also recognizing my strengths. It’s always trying to do the best I can and understanding that the best I can sometimes isn’t very good. What if I always gave myself a pat on the back for the effort I’ve given, even if the effort was subpar? My husband makes fun of me (in a different way this time) because I love reality TV. Yes, it’s junk BUT I really do gather some insight from watching it. Heather Dubrow from The Real Housewives of the OC said something so profound one day, I know, I know, but she said “Being a good friend means accepting me for who I am, all of me, including my faults and idiosyncrasies”. I thought to myself, yes, that is really true. That’s how I should treat my friends and that’s also how I should treat myself. As I learn to accept myself, I can then begin to accept others. My challenge each morning is to go into the world with a gentle heart and give everyone I meet the benefit of the doubt. That includes idiots that cut me off and almost clip the front end of my car on 385. Father Pat always talks about from, through and to with regards to God’s grace. He says that we are given grace from God, we process that grace and then we are to give that same grace to others, no matter what they’ve done and no matter if they have remorse. Wow, what a challenge.
There is another side to that though, and that is knowing when it’s time to say something. Just by giving someone the benefit of the doubt doesn’t mean that I can never speak up for myself. I actually believe the opposite is true. If my friend/spouse knows that I love him/her unconditionally, then I have the freedom to tell him/her that I’ve been hurt by his/her actions. What I mean is, when that person knows that I’m never going to chastise him/her, that my words are coming from a loving place, then he/she can listen, without fear, to my feelings and not feel threatened. That’s what i love about my husband. I know that I can tell him how I’m feeling and he will accept and listen to me. We may argue about it, but we both love each other and want to do what we can to have a positive, healthy relationship. The world is so quick to 1) judge and 2) condemn so I think people feel like making a mistake is the end of the world. I feel like we’re a couple of steps away from having public hangings again. That sounds negative, but to watch the media and how quickly it can take a person and vilify that person in a matter of 24 hours is scary to me. One must pay the consequences for one’s actions, but the media/social media can be a catalyst for such negative emotion. What if we just stopped participating in it? I wonder how it would all change? Could we give ourselves a break just a little bit more?
Because finding the balance in the gray area of life can be overwhelming sometimes, I have a couple of simple thoughts I use on a daily basis.
- In my defenselessness, my safety lies. I am a perfect child of God and though I have flaws, I am exactly who I am and where I am supposed to be. I don’t have to defend that to anyone. I also have nothing to fear.
- In this very moment, I don’t have to worry. Whatever it is that in on my mind is in the future, so I can wait until that moment arrives to worry. Otherwise, in this very moment, I have control of my situation and I at least have the hope of getting control over it
- The answer is to respond with love. If I don’t know what to do, how would love respond?
Thanks for reading 🙂