I was running smooth this morning… had plenty of lovin’ time with little dog as soon as I woke up, slipped out of bed and set up a pot of coffee, opened the blinds letting the beautiful blue skies into view, handed off a cup o’ joe to hubby as he stepped out of the shower, grabbed little dog’s blankie, grabbed my cup o’ joe and my favorite affirmation book, “One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection,” authored by Celine Koropchak, and stepped outside to fill my inner cup with divine wisdom while connecting with nature in our tranquil side yard and cuddling little dog.
Barely two steps out the door, smooth disappeared, replaced with awkward juggling of cup, door, blanket, and favorite book, signed by the author, now soaked with Sunday morning coffee.
My heart sank. I mumbled to myself something that had been said to me many times years ago that I latched on to like a passive curse… “You’re such a klutz, Susan!” Immediately, I felt that familiar dark wave of judgment coming over me, judgment that was once someone else’s but had since become my own. But this time…
“HOLD ON! PULL THE BRAKES! STOP RIGHT THERE!” said a bigger voice I normally don’t hear so easily.
You all don’t know me, but I’ve been putting in substantial time these many years and especially the past several years trying to intercept and rewire my runaway mind so I hold its reins and not the other way around. Lately, I’ve been doing a much better job handling these outdated, useless and silently destructive narratives (I’ve had many) that I once absorbed and came to believe as true.
THIS TIME AROUND, instead of allowing negative rhetoric and self-abusive thoughts to consume me, I shook off the momentary glitch in my smooth moves, walked back into the house, grabbed a few paper towels, surveyed my now coffee-coated favorite book and said to it, “Well, you’re christened now. So, let’s go outside and REALLY relax.”
I remember buying my first new car—a silver Toyota Corolla that came with a 60-month coupon payment book. I was 23 years old and before then had only a small fleet of clunker cars to my name—the faded-green Dodge Dart with maybe a year of life left in it that I bought for $500 from my older sister, the pale yellow Eldorado (also on its last legs) I nicknamed “the boat” because it was so huge, I had a ton of trouble docking it into parking spaces (It met its demise by burning out, trails blazing in a toxic cloud of white smoke, creeping around the corner alongside my house at TWO miles per hour, heaving with exhaustion till it came to a standstill exactly where I’d always parked it, falling silent, never to wake again.).
But the NEW car? Oh! I was so proud to ‘own’ it (as much as one ‘owns’ something bought on credit). It was just a material thing but a material thing that made me feel good. Three months later, however, someone came around the corner on a snowy day and slid right into my brand-new car, leaving a nice big dent in its rear side panel. I remember at first being quite upset, dismayed really. I hadn’t even made my third payment yet. And now it was damaged goods.
And then, oddly, the next feeling I had was relief. It’s done, I thought. Now I can relax. It’s not ‘perfect’ anymore.
I’ve never been a huge fan of perfect. Never did quite buy into it. People who try to give the impression they are perfect, items to ‘own’ that seem too perfect, having expectations that something or someone should ‘be’ perfect. I’ve especially not been a fan of thinking or expecting that I should be or have to be perfect. AND YET, perfection is always something I’ve strived for in life. Such an unreasonable and unachievable expectation, laced with negative afterthoughts and aftereffects on oneself (and on others).
Judgment of self =
shame, unnecessary pressure and stress, and
a tendency toward mental or physical self-abuse in various forms
Judgment of others =
dismissiveness, impatience, disregard for their humanness and
mental, verbal or physical abuse of others
It’s okay to strive towards a goal of perfection for yourself, just as long as you are ready to accept less-than-perfect outcomes, without negative judgment.
It’s NEVER okay to expect perfection of others. That’s YOUR OWN BAG, man! It’s especially NOT okay to judge others when they inevitably fall short of YOUR expectations… that’s YOUR OLD BAGGAGE to acknowledge, accept and work out so you can let it go and get back to being a decent human being.
As for me, I’m still sitting out here in my tranquil side yard, listening to the birds, observing little dog laying in the sun, sipping my second cup of coffee, and wrapping up this writing to share with you today. When that’s done, a perfectly imperfect child-of-the-divine version of myself will get back to my favorite and now thoroughly broken in book so I can fill my soul with those affirmations that always make me feel centered and at ease. What a perfect way to spend a lovely Sunday morning.
Have a perfectly imperfect Sunday, my dear readers!
Be good to others. Be good to yourself.
God bless all!