Inside: there are four interconnected, life-giving lessons I’ve learned which allow me to walk with intention and joy today. They require practice, conscious choice, and remind me that I alone get to decide that this simple, imperfect life of mine is more than enough.
As my 40th birthday approached, I sensed that change was coming my way.
Somehow I understood that this year would be a tipping point. A critical crossroads at which I would stop being pulled to and fro by shifting mood or circumstance and make a conscious decision about who and how I wanted to be in the world.
Change did come.
I launched my first blog called Embracing Imperfection – an initial, tentative effort at articulating my deep longing to disentangle myself from comparison, perfectionism, and fear. I returned to school, ended up struggling to walk with a cane as I awaited a hip replacement and then passed through a long and painful recovery, and my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
My 40th birthday ushered in the most challenging season of my life. And I am grateful.
The strange thing is, even as I stumbled through this valley that I would never have chosen for myself, I knew I was being changed. Through the pain and sorrow, the agonizing stretching of muscle and soul, I was beginning the process of releasing everything that no longer served.
All the striving and comparison, the self-doubt and concern about what others thought of me and if they loved me, was stripped away layer by layer until I arrived, exhausted yet relieved, at a place of surrender.
Broken and beautiful.
It was like I fully awoke, for the first time.
And what I finally understood was that I was already enough. That I could love myself, with all my mess and struggle, precisely as I was.
As I draw near to my 47th birthday and look back over the past 7 years, I realize there are four interconnected, life-giving lessons I’ve learned which allow me to walk with intention and joy today.