What's Your Secret Ideal?
For as long as I can remember, I've been so filled with shame that I don't "have my shit together", that I don't know what I want, and can't get their in a straight line. That I'm not more successful than I am. I have a broken family and managed to put myself in a situation where I live on a different continent from my children. It's certainly not the way I would have liked to design my life.
But something happened last week that make me wake up a little bit. I met someone who was incredibly articulate, who was able to roll fully-formed paragraphs off his tongue, who seemed to have all his shit together. And yet, I couldn't parse most of it, because I couldn't feel him. And then when he himself expressed a regret that he wasn't more in touch with his feelings, something clicked big time inside my head:
This is the ideal I've been unconsciously chasing! I was hoping that when I was "fixed", when I was healed enough, when I'd worked through all my issues, I'd get to this point where I'd have no feelings, I'd have all the right answers, I'd know exactly what I wanted to achieve, and I'd just go straight from point A to point B - and, of course, I'd be able to blabber off perfectly formed paragraphs full of insightful words at a moment's notice.
But is that who I actually want to be? Is it who I am somewhere deep inside? No! Not even close!
I don't need all my issues and wounds and flaws to go away. They're what make me human. What I do need to do is embrace them, and allow myself to be who I am, with them. And to allow myself to be with other people with them, to work through the shame of being who I am.
We all have issues, flaws, wounds, pain, hurt, sadness, fear, anger, and all the rest of it. It's how we choose to deal with it - or not - that matters. It's not something to make go away. Being able to be with and work with these things as they come up is precisely what makes us strong, relatable, interesting, valuable, human.
I'm sharing this to offer you the opportunity to look more closely at your ideals, at what you're striving for. To the extent that you feel like your life is a "project", that you're trying to get somewhere, where is that place you're trying to get to? And is that really, truly, where you want to go?
It's so liberating to realize that you're not a project, that where you thought you had to arrive at is bullshit, and that indeed, there's nowhere to arrive at. You're already there. And you are beautiful.