Inside: I have found the key to happiness here in embracing imperfection and choosing to love myself, and I want to share it with you.
You’re imperfect. Life is messy. Show up anyway.
This is the key to happiness.
Showing up anyway.
Acknowledging the full truth of who we are and all the mistakes we’ve made; the ways we’ve struggled and wrestled and been let down. Telling the truth about how scared we are that we don’t have what it takes and how we’ve compared and fallen short time and time again.
Waking up to all the amazing beautiful bits of our story and peeling away the layers of self-protection that we hide behind so that we can let people see, so that we can embrace the truth, that we are gifted and beautiful and messy and strong in ways that we didn’t even realize before.
We find happiness here. In the place of surrender and acceptance. And showing up anyway.
Freedom lives here too.
Showing up awake and aware, fully present, to every messy bit of life is the key to happiness.
We realize that we have spent most of our life feeling broken or incomplete, never, ever good enough. We have assumed that everyone else has figured out adulting and how to do life and we must have been born without that little snippet of DNA. Because life has never felt easy.
But everyone has to work at it. Everyone struggles. We struggle differently, but we struggle.
When we finally, wearily, crawl our way over to the place of surrender we begin to heal. We thought we were doing all the right things by reading the self-help books and trying to jump through hoops and by religiously following other people’s 7 step plans. We tried really hard.
Many times we thought we had found the key to happiness, or at least come up so close we could taste it, but it was a false alarm.
We got up early and pushed through pain and bullied our bodies and spirits into submission but all this did is prove that we cannot keep up. It is too exhausting and boring and soul-crushing to try to fit our sensitive spirits and all our tenuous hopes and dreams into a tiny little box that doesn’t even fit my dimpled right thigh.
This is not where happiness lives.
And if we can’t squish our big selves into this box then surely we don’t fit into this world.
But when we arrive at the place of surrender and acceptance, and we spend some time drinking from the cool waters of self-compassion and we sleep and let our hurting bodies, minds, and spirits just rest awhile, we find something new. We discover that we are box makers. We are handcrafted as artists and creators and it is not our job to mold ourselves into someone else’s image but to pick up our own hammer and saw and craft a box of our very own.
My box is crooked and rough around the edges because I’m impatient and excited. I get splinters and hit my thumb a lot and cry. I sometimes climb into bed, covers pulled up tight over my head. I am not entirely sure where I am headed or what I am building but I feel anticipation and hope bubbling up in me. So I get messy and start building very cool things of my own. I simply show up. I like what you’re building over there too.
And now we are too busy building our own lives and carving our own meandering paths – this is hard but satisfying work – to keep up with what others are doing. I don’t know about you, but there is a new spring in my step and a tune in my heart that calls me, daily, out of fear and into joyful possibility.
Old habits and patterns die hard and sometimes I slip back into self-doubt and comparison but mostly I am happy. I hope you are happy too.
This is the key to happiness: showing up imperfect and beautiful, without shame or comparison.
This gets easier over time. When I stumble I am quicker to pick myself up and I have learned to ask for help. When I am tired I learn to rest, instead of quit. In seasons of loss or pain or letting go I remind myself to simply breathe. This is real life after all, and I am still learning to dance with ebb and flow.
And with each new season of life, we have more work to do. But don’t you see that this isn’t a hardship but a gift: we are called to write our own stories.
I have found the key to happiness here in embracing imperfection and choosing to love myself, and I want to share it with you.