I once heard a famous, self-help guru/podcaster say, â€śPurpose is the thing that launches you out of bed each morning, ready to attack the day.â€ťÂ I was flummoxed. Launch?Â There are people that launch out of bed in the mornings ready to attack the day?Â Usually by the time my alarm goes off Iâ€™m thinkingâ€”What am I supposed to get done today? What emails did I forget to respond to?Â Did I mail that birthday card? Â Who fed the cat?
I have always admired those 5am early risers that get up, run 6 miles, read the paper, meditate every morning and brag about it with such joy it makes me want to pull the covers over my head (and thatâ€™s on my more gentle days).Â I like to think that I have a more Eeyore approach to the mornings, wondering where my tail went and searching sleepy-eyed for coffee.Â Thereâ€™s nothing I love more than Christmas, yet there are home videos of Christmas morning when my little brother would come bouncing into my room Tigger-like shouting â€śKate! Kate! Santa has come!â€ť and I have this look on my face like- just one more hour of sleep. And this is the morning most children happily launch out of bed eager to attack the day.Â Or at least attack the presents.
Realizing our own limitations can make us feel sad sometimes.Â I will probably never hear the phrases â€śmorning personâ€ť or â€śray of sunshineâ€ť to describe me prior to that first cup of coffee.Â My favorite thing is to stay in pajamas until lunch reading.Â Another favorite pastime I enjoy is overthinking myself into a tizzy.Â I remember when a simple decision like stopping for coffee would stop me in my tracks.Â I would wonder â€“ Where should I go?Â Should I get a latte? Can I really afford that? I should get tea.Â What kind of tea?Â Chai? Chai tea latte?Â And thatâ€™s just about getting coffee.
And then one day I had a huge realization: this isÂ perfectionism.Â The comparisons, the shoulds, the overthinking; this as a form of perfectionism because it is all based in fear â€“ fear in couture clothes.Â The fear that if Iâ€™m not launching out of bed in the mornings with this grand sense of purpose that I must be unworthy or somehow lacking.Â That Iâ€™m not making the most of my one and only life.Â If I canâ€™t sit on the mountain top discovering my inner child and find peace then Iâ€™m missing something everyone else is privy to.
If I can be completely honest with you, the truth is that I am coming to love my imperfections and being myself- warts and all.Â I kind of love the side of me that has a stack of unfinished books, that goes to art galleries because Iâ€™m supposed to but what Iâ€™m really looking forward to is ordering a pastry at the cafĂ©, the side that says â€śyeah, I like to ride my bike to workâ€ť and I donâ€™t even have a bike.
It has taken me 31 years to come to love myself fully and completely even on the days when I wish I were different. I think â€“ you know what, I am doing the best I can.Â I will never be perfect; I will never win the morning person competition or like cold weather or make beautiful jewelry or bike around Austin during South by Southwest.Â Itâ€™s not that I canâ€™t do these things, itâ€™s just that I donâ€™t want to.Â Why would I spend time doing the things someone else would enjoy when I can find the things that bring me true happiness?Â It is better to be an imperfect me than a perfect example of somebody else.
If you sometimes struggle with who you think youÂ shouldÂ be and what you think your lifeÂ shouldlook like, I want you to know that you are not alone.Â The Dutch writer, Henry Mulisch, wrote about this idea: â€śEvery person has, I believe, the feeling that he doesnâ€™t belong in the lives of other people.Â That he is in some way different, a guest, and he takes all possible measures to make sure others wonâ€™t notice.Â This is the feeling all people have, and that is precisely why we all belong together.â€ťÂ And that is precisely why we all belong together â€“ I love that last line.
Youâ€™re ok.Â Youâ€™re not perfect, maybe there are things youâ€™d like to change and I know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, but I have found that the real adventure is to love yourself fully, unconditionally, and without regard for the destination. Â Loving ourselves and loving others is the bravest and most worthwhile path we could ever walk.Â It means accepting our limitations, accepting the limitations of others, and cutting ourselves some slackâ€¦ Â And giving ourselves permission to sleep in from time to time.
What will you let go of in order to fully accept yourself?
About The Author:
Kate Carmichael is a Licensed Therapist in Austin, Texas who enjoys writingÂ a blog called Just for Today-Â www.atx-counseling.com/blog.Â The intention of her blog is to transform lives by providing resources, ideas, articles,Â and fun!
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