When my first daughter was under a week old, her little body was laying on the changing table and I was fumbling with learning how to use a diaper. She was brand new, clean, smelled so good and in constant movement. I was trying to be so careful with everything because she looked so fragile.
The hospital bracelet still clung to her little wrist and it had to come off. She was mine now, not the hospital’s. I took a pair of scissors and carefully maneuvered a blade into the inside of the tiny hospital bracelet. I held it there for a moment carefully making sure I’m just cutting the bracelet. I made the decision to close the scissors and suddenly realized her little finger was in between the blades. I gasped realizing what I almost did. What a terrible mother I would be if I cut off my baby’s finger. I eventually got the bracelet off and life went on.
In an upcoming pediatrician’s appointment, I shared this story with Dr. Jones. His relaxed comment which I’ll never forget was “It would have grown back.” Whether that’s true or not, I was shocked into remembering this little baby is much more resilient than she appears.
In thinking over my life, I’ve tried to do everything perfectly to achieve the outcomes I wanted. I learned to judge myself against high standards that allowed me to achieve goals to impress and prove to everyone I am good enough to be occupying space in this world. I am a recovering overachiever. I learned my limits of how far I can be pushed in health, work and personal relationships. More importantly, I’ve learned my limits of what to expect from myself, easing up and accepting, gently accepting I am enough. It’s been a life-long process. The shadows of these perfectionist qualities still exist and at this point I observe them and thank them for sharing. I am enough.
From Matt Kahn--
“How often do you tip-toe around in your reality, hoping not to disturb the sacred ground of existence with limiting ideas, over thinking, or the triggering of negative emotions? While there is much benefit to being tactful with your words, actions, and responses, you are living out the necessary highs and lows of your evolution in a very durable reality. A reality that is dressed up as a planet that has survived ice ages, volcanic explosions, and even held space for the arrival of meteor showers can surely endure the impact of your most limiting thoughts.”
“The Universe is not fragile and remains as indestructible as the destiny that unfolds throughout each passing breath. You may need to make fear-based choices in order to build up courage and resonate with more inspired options, or spend time in tumultuous circumstances until you are ready to step into the unknown; but isn’t that what the play of life is about? Life is a living journey of expansion, where you are becoming aware of all that you know and remembering all that you are — one incremental choice at a time.
Your life is a work of art in progress. As most artists will tell you, it’s impossible to bring the magic of art to life without initially making a mess.”
What you said struck a nerve with me: I am enough. I’ve always tried to be perfect. I’ve learned that I control what I do and say, and that I cannot control what others do and say. I wrote a poem “I am enough.”
I Am . . . Enough
Just doing and being who I am
Loving as I love
Changing as I’m called to change
I speak who I am and that is enough
I . . . am enough
Thank you. I always thought if I did a certain thing that I'd get the outcome I wanted. A friend of mine said to me, “I think you think if you do a, b, and c, you'll get d.” I have believed that, but it’s not reality. That white picket fence mentality. It’s good to know about the resilience we have, that it’s normal to experience difficult times. The a-b-c-d mentality is not true. I never thought I was enough.
I too grew up in that “leave it to beaver” world.
I too am a recovering perfectionist. It keeps coming up. I’m in a dream group and every morning, I think that the dream I just had is not good enough to share with the group. I'm expecting too much of myself. It’s not an issue with the leader. An old dream will do just fine.
Observe ourselves laughing.
I am in the energy of my friend who died yesterday. I’m looking at everything through that lens. I was tiptoeing through life. She was my friend, my mentor. We were on a similar path, she leading, me tiptoeing. Eventually, I danced and twirled in her footsteps; and then I was on my own path with my own voice. Messy creation is natural to me. I am comfortable in mess, comfortable in my creative process. If I gave her anything, I helped her feel comfortable in her mess.
You have a cheerleader on the other side now.
This idea of imperfection and messiness reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit (see June 21 blog). How messy, how imperfect
I too am an overachiever. It’s not so bad to overachieve if it gets us what we want, like a graduate degree. The words “recovering overachiever” is new to me.