"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
Raise your hand if you're a perfectionist! Mine is high and waving because I've reallly come to realize how greatly I desire to accomplish things p-e-r-fe-c-t-l-y. I know I am not perfect, no one is but I want to appear perfect all of the time. And trust me, it's easy to appear perfect, especially on social media. Social media is like a movie scene where is just highlights everyone's highs in life. All the good, and none of the bad. But to be honest I fake having my crap together well. And I'm tired of faking it. It's so exhausting. My greatest fear is being rejected. And if I really let everyone see the real me well they might run away--or worse yet bash me to other people.
The funny thing is that for almost half my life, I did everything I could possibly do to NOT be me. My first marriage, a relationship that lasted 15 years, was so toxic to my identity that I think I came out of it not actually knowing who I really am naturally. I felt rejected every day by my ex-spouse that I knew being me wasn't really an option. It was clearly made known to me that I couldn't measure up to his idea of what a wife should be so I overcompensated changing who I was from the inside and out. My goal became being the perfect wife in his eyes so that I could feel accepted by him. I had spent so many years altering my thoughts and habits to keep the house in peace that after it ended, I woke up and realized that I'm not sure how I like my eggs cooked in the moring, so to speak.
You know that Julia Roberts movie "The Runaway Bride" where she runs from guy to guy and and can never commit? There is a scene in it where Julia Robert's character has this great ephany where she finally realizes that she has conformed to every guy she has ever been engaged to and she really has no idea how she likes her eggs for breakfast, symbolizing that she really doesn't know or accept herself at all. She sits in front of dish after dish of eggs prepared in every way to see what she actually likes without anyone else's opinion. She is dating herself in that moment and it is the break through she needs to finally know what type of partner she really desires. Of course it's Richard Gere's character. Duh, Obvious choice.
When my first marriage was ending, I finally felt free to be myself. The true Carla. The one that didn't really care what everyone else thought about her. I always had a bold as a lion personality, but years suffocated led me to barely squeak inside of roar. The truth is that fear of acceptance by others has been a steel beam in my system, almost impossible to break. I questioned almost every decision I made daily and felt so much anxiety that I was having physical symptoms arise in my body for months on end. My God-sent (second and last) husband James pointed out to me a number of times...it's from stress and anxiety. In which I would laugh and say no way. I don't have stress and anxiety. I mean, come on! Sometimes our version of reality is really not reality at all. And it took 6 months for me to figure out YUP! my physical illness was directly related to stress and anxiety. And it took even longer for me to realize just why I was so stressed out...
God whispers to us. It can be hard to hear through all the noise we distract ourselves with, but I heard a whisper to my heart that said "you don't accept yourself or how I created you to be." Fear of not being accepted has paralyzed me for years and honestly wrecked me in more ways that I can to admit. It has stopped me from genuinely showing the world the true me. I have wished and prayed to be someone else for so long. Why can't I just be like so-and-so? We all just want to fit into a mold, and yet none of us where created to be the same mold and shape. Perfectionism is a shield. If I appear perfect in certain aspects of my life than I can't feel shame. Shame is what paralyzes me. Shame of not belonging or being accepted. I am on a journey to get to know myself and to accept that I am who I was created to be...perfect and whole, flaws and strengths. I want to KNOW intimately who I was created to be and accept myself so well that I in turn can accept others for who they were also created to be. I want to be aware of the dangers of perfectionism and drop that like it's hot.
The minute you begin to heal in an area is also the minute that you will find yourself triggered. Blame it on irony, or a cruel joke that the universe plays but it happens every time I'm working through a personal issue. As I have stepped onto this "I'm just going to LOVE MYSELF journey," I've recently experienced people NOT accepting me at all. I've been personally attacked for just being me and other's not understanding or even caring to understand me. I've really struggled through this recent experience. But the irony in it, is that it is NOT ironic at all. Because the moment you decide that you are going to break free from a specific issue is the moment that you get attacked in that very wounding, HARD CORE. Just work through it, it serves a purpose.
What I have found is that I really do love who I am, I just need to get to know me better. I have recently decided to date myself. I want to know how I like my eggs cooked in the morning, I want to give up the art of perfectionism that I have mastered so well. I want to make mistakes and say well at least I tried. I don't even know what that looks like in this present moment, but I do know that I am on the path to freedom. Freedom to genuinely love myself and to let go of caring about what other's think of me. When I can let go of living up to other's expectations, and say "yes this is who I am." Well then, I can soar.