Imperfect Blog is a title that has been on my mind for about a year now. I had slowed down in my blogging last summer because I caught myself caring more about sounding smart than sharing from my heart. I was more focused on where I could publish my article for the best visibility than I was on writing for authentic expression, letting my readers grow organically.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent too much of my life doing things just to look or sound good. In my past, I made money just for the sake of making money and found that financial security wasn’t all I hoped it would be. In fact, it was soul-sucking and life-draining, working for nothing more than a paycheck and other people’s approval. I’ve learned time and again that if my heart isn’t in something, I’m taking time and energy away from where my heart really wants to be. So last summer, I made a choice to stop blogging regularly until I was ready to be vulnerable again.
I’ve learned time and again that if my heart isn’t in something, I’m taking time and energy away from where my heart really wants to be.
And then my baby brother died August 7, at 44. An intentional overdose. Since then, I haven’t been able to blog much at all, or do a lot of things I used to do, personally or professionally. By seven months, some normalcy had finally returned but I realized some things may never resume the importance they once held in my mind and in my life. Maybe that’s a good thing.
I no longer feel capable nor desirous of keeping a perfect house. If dishes sit in the sink, so be it. If clean laundry stays in the basket until it’s time to do laundry again, I fold the clothes and restart the cycle. I still care about eating well but my ability to plan and prepare meals comes and goes. Fortunately, I love salads and canned soup and my husband likes frozen burritos. We let that be okay as often as we feel like it.
Professionally, I do what I can and lately, that’s actually been quite a lot. But daily I have to surrender the urge to beat myself up for not doing more. I constantly remind myself to trust in God’s perfect timing and provision.
Gratitude! I am very grateful, for I have received so many gifts during this difficult year. Angels have appeared to give me exactly what I needed and when. Some of them are my unexpected furry friends who welcomed us to our new home last September! They rescued me! For several months following my brother’s death, the colony cats were the only reason I found to get dressed and go outside. They were my play therapy! Thank you to all my angels, two-legged and four-legged, who generously shared your love and encouragement over these many months of change.
Yes, I miss my brother but I also miss my family. I had always heard death does strange things to families. Mine was no different. An implosion occurred when my brother died and I lost connection with everyone but my dad. The details aren’t important to share but I became caught between two sides of a struggle, able to please no one. I lived every day trying to stay safe in a field of landmines until I experienced a total breakdown and had to remove myself from all of it. My family remains fractured but I pray for healing and have learned much about how to forgive. I know we are all capable of choosing love no matter what.
Some of my writings and keynotes talk about boiling points and melt-downs, suggesting that’s what we actually need to do at times. When the fire is at its hottest, bring on the melt-down! Let everything melt away so we can rebuild what’s truly important. I’m still defining where I want to place significance and where I don’t.
When the fire is at its hottest, bring on the melt-down! Let everything melt away so we can rebuild what’s truly important.
I know my spiritual relationship with myself and with God must remain a priority for my peace and well-being. Real connection with my husband and son are vital and precious. Relationships with friends, mentors and my dad and his new wife are sustaining and gift-filled. By practicing being present with myself, I allow authentic expression to manifest creatively through writing and painting, and sometimes flower-arranging, recipe making, pie baking and occasionally cleaning to the beat of great music. As someone who’s greatest vice is to dissociate through busyness, distraction and the pursuit of details, my state of mindfulness and feeling my feelings are always a work in progress.
You will not find a pretty bow to wrap this blog up. As Forest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.” But let me add this. I forgive them. And I forgive me. We each did our very best. We are doing our best now. I maintain hope of reconciliation with my family members, understanding it will only come through supernatural trust and forgiveness by all involved. It’s always a choice to persevere through pain. Our greatest growth is directly proportional to our toughest challenges. Adversity refines us. Defines us.
Our greatest growth is directly proportional to our toughest challenges. Adversity refines us. Defines us.
A while back, someone told me they must have fallen off my mailing list because they had stopped receiving updates from me. No, you are all still on the list! Life happened and then happened some more, as it does to us all. I am still in the process of bouncing back in some areas and I will continue to strive to be the best me on any given day. Some days that means staying in PJ’s in the comfort and privacy of my own home. So be it. I want to be perfectly imperfect from here on out. Cheers to us all Finding the Gift … in everything and in every situation.
Are We Kindred Spirits?
Does perfectionism show up in your life as much as it does mine? You may like this blog from last fall. http://angelahowell.com/perfectionism-perfect-enemy/ If anything I write helps you, challenges you, inspires you, or if you have encouragement to share on the topic, I want to know! Please leave a comment and let’s talk about it! We’re in this together.
New Facebook group!
If you haven’t joined us on Facebook, do so right now! www.Facebook.com/Groups/FindingtheGift. So many of you have shared individually with me what the daily readings from Finding the Gift mean to you and how a specific entry really spoke into your situation. I finally created this group so we can all join the conversation and share the journey of what #FindingTheGift looks like in each other’s lives. I look forward to chatting with you there!