I wrote this some time ago, but when it was finished there was something about it that made it feel unfinished and not quite right. I wasn’t sure that I was conveying my thoughts correctly for the topic. So I left it in draft status and walked away from it. Something I learned a long time ago was that if you keep nitpicking something when you’re frustrated, it won’t turn out right or you won’t solve the issue because your frustration is leaking into the problem and exasperating it. Matthew used to get beyond annoyed at a game he was playing, to the point of tears. I would force him to walk away and cool down, and he would be so angry with me! Eventually he realized I was right – if you walk away, cool down, let your thoughts settle, your brain can pick up the problem and solve it much faster.
So that’s what I did with this piece.
“We’re all up against not finding ourselves perfect, and still wanting to be open and be there for others.”Pema Chodron
One of this weeks meditations was a loving kindness meditation, and I always find these to be intriguing. There are two instructors I enjoy on the app I use, and both use the same concept for this type of meditation. I’m new to the meditation scene, so maybe this is a standard meditation – hell, I don’t know. Anyway, you concentrate on three people and send them good vibes is the long and short of it. The first person is generally someone you know and care about, the second person just an acquaintance, and the third someone that you have difficult feelings about – whether its annoyance or anger or hurt. I enjoy sending good feelings out into the world. There is so much ugly out there floating around, that sending out good juju of any sort has to help – right?
It’s a regular meditation, but it’s never the same. Some of the people I send good vibes to change, sometimes I feel different feelings, sometimes the specific vibes are different. It’s the same meditation each time but yet can be so different.
Not gonna lie, the first time I did this meditation and had to send good vibes to someone I had less than wonderful feelings about was odd as hell. It was surprisingly healing though, too.
What was even more difficult was the final part of the meditation. At the very end, after sending out all this good shit to other people, you are asked to concentrate on yourself and send yourself some loving kindness. You are asked to accept yourself and love yourself for exactly who you are.
That threw me.
I will be the first one to admit that I have flaws. Physical, mental, emotional. I can be an utter train wreck, and sometimes it’s only because the whether is shitty. There are other times when I am awesome, amazing, and wonderful. I can find the bright spot in the stormiest skies normally, but sometimes I struggle. It’s the nature of being human. There’s a song I heard recently and the chorus states, “We’re fucked up in a beautiful way.” Facts, y’all. That’s what being human is. We aren’t perfect. And finding the beauty in our imperfections is so important.
It is because I am not perfect that I can be there and be open to others. I know what it is to feel not quite stable, and I know what it is to make mistakes. I know what it is to have to dig deep and find strength when there seems to be a shortage. I have fallen short, a lot.
But I also know that I put good out into the world. Despite not being perfect. Despite making mistakes. Despite sometimes being a train wreck, I know that I am human and that’s okay. I can be awesome, amazing and wonderful and have a bad day sometimes.
I know all of this, but I don’t really think about it. I have never sat down and said hey, ya know what self? You’re a mess, but you’re pretty amazing, too. And it’s okay to be a mess sometimes.
I don’t always have to be perfect to be worthwhile. And that is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last few months. To be kind to myself when I’m feeling less than stellar, to congratulate myself on getting through hard days, and allow myself to be exactly who I am without feeling guilty when sometimes who I am isn’t great.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect perfection out of yourself or anyone else. Because here’s the thing – I can almost bet that even in your least perfect moments, someone is grateful to have you in their life.
Happy Monday, folks.
Image courtesy Ava Sol on Unsplash