“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.”-Iyanla Vanzant
I am sitting here in my kitchen nook sipping on some chamomile tea, relaxing slightly as I peek out the window at my children. They are playfully watering their garden and “accidentally” spraying each other with water, along with fiercely giggling. It’s such a delight to see their smiling faces as they nurture their lives with me as an onlooker.
Emotionally, I feel happy and peaceful right now. Even as I scan the room and see a load of laundry that needs to be washed, dishes that need to be put away, and emails and phone calls to answer. In the past, I would have construed this scene as pure chaos and been completely absorbed in it, trying to fix it, trying to keep up and becoming angry and irritated when I find that I just don’t have enough time. Not enough time to do, but certainly enough time to think and plan out a elaborate strategy that would give me the perfect outcome. Oh boy, was that elaborate strategy ever tiresome! The plans I would fabricate made me grow bored and obliged to procrastinate and think, “Well, maybe, just maybe, I can get this done tomorrow, the next day or next week sometime.” Ultimately, this procrastination monopolized every inch of my reality, made me feel inadequate and constantly caused me to think nervously about the future.
Procrastination, perfectionism and detachment created true live and learn moments for me. Now, I try not to be absorbed in the chaos, yet, still live and learn from the moments by outshining that very chaos. How do I outshine that chaos? I’ve said it before–it’s a good reminder to myself–by living a still life as I don’t want to miss this journey by being preoccupied with outcomes and hiding my emotions.
In my opinion, I still try to strive for excellence but in an imperfect way. I have to say that it feels warm, virtuous, and accepting compared to how I felt a few, short, months ago (judgmental, constricted and distressed). What has helped? I have learned that I am good enough, even if I am not perfect. I am happy and peaceful considering I’ve untied and dropped that perfection cloak and bared all my emotions. I was only able to do this after becoming honest with myself and living moment-by-moment. In the past, I thought perfectionism keep me safe and secure, but really, it was just self-inflicted torture that added to my denial/delusion, withered my self-respect and buried my feelings deep down inside my being. I was in a dark place, yet, now I am able to celebrate all my emotions–the good, the bad and the ugly–by embracing them as they are gifts from God that give me my individuality. I am no longer closed in and feel isolated. I am now open to make connections with other individuals that grace this beautiful world. Just yesterday, I had a wonderful conversation with several people in the health food store. I really felt that showing my emotions and being real helped the friendly connections happen. Something I never imagined I could do in the past when I was “perfect” and “emotionless”.
I cry, I love, I get angry, I laugh, I don’t have all the answers and I find moments that sarcasm is the best medicine. I am growing. I am learning. I am real. I am not perfect. I am vulnerable. I am me. I am Brooke.
Thank you for reading.