To Death With You, Shame

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Being excellent does not and will never mean being perfect.

Many of us look at the discovery of who we really are and feel deeply ashamed, anxious and disappointed because we failed ourselves. Just the other day, I exclaimed to my boss that I was ashamed of myself for making a huge list of mistakes on a website I was building. And the truth is… I don’t feel satisfied when I don’t succeed, thus, I am basing my worth off of doing things right. But for too long, I’ve lived mediocre. And I attribute that to realizing that I see myself as mediocre. The more I see myself as a mediocre person, the more I strive for an unattainable goal. Rather than seeing myself for who I am, I have a way to downgrade myself to a form of mediocrity – shame.

Shame that I can’t be right, that I can’t get things right, that I can’t think or feel right. Ultimately, it is shame that I am just not satisfied with who I am so I just become more.

Isn’t that deceiving myself still? I am still believing I am less than who I could be, so I do more to become more than I am.

But what if the answer to being satisfied with who I am right now was contingent upon my ability to know where I’m at right now?

I’m no professional. I read books, listen to podcasts and watch TED talks as much as the next self-improvement junkie does. And all I find the more I learn, the more I become ashamed with myself.

2014: 7 months in and I’m a sucker to understand who I really am. This may come with time or age or both, but this year has been so pivotal in the span of my life that I have tried to suck the life out of this year adopting the following motto: No excuses. Have I stuck to that? Not always. But when making tough decisions, I have that mantra in my mind.

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Disappointment brews deeply in your heart when you can’t seem to do the things you truly want to do. And most of us are so deep into life, that we’ve made ourselves forget what we really want. However, your heart will never forget. It remembers always.

I’ve learned a few things this year about myself that have both sharpened me and disappointed me.

I’d like to name a few, because I’d like you as well to weigh in with your journey this year in the comments below. I encourage you to take this challenge yourself. And I also want to warn you that by three or four(on either list), you may have discouraged yourself so much, that you just give up. Stop. Relax. You’re human. And you are beautiful.

So, list out six areas that you have discovered you need to grow in, whether that be work, relationships, or a hobby. Then list out six areas that you have discovered your strengths in.

I’m going to be honest… I find it hard for me to name six positive discoveries or qualities about myself. We are indeed our worst critiques, but this is where I get to share some truth with you from my journey. So I’ll first name the six positive discoveries.

  1. I love extremely deeply.
  2. I have a deep sense to find purpose in absolutely everything I encounter.
  3. I am extremely passionate about things I believe in.
  4. I am strong willed.
  5. I can dream (figuratively and literally)  like there’s no tomorrow.
  6. I am a loyal.

That was a little hard. Okay, a lot harder than I anticipated. I’m gonna give the negatives a shot. (Beware: major vulnerability up ahead.)

  1. I am deeply frightened and uncomfortable of being vulnerable. (Letting people in for longer than five minutes may lead to insanity.)
  2. I make fun of my heart’s desires.
  3. I deal with rejection from other people and with myself.
  4. I have a quick, bad temper.
  5. Although it’s great that I’m a dreamer, I am bad about being in the present and full paying attention.
  6. I really suck at handwriting, drawing and basically anything to do with scribing anything.

Those were pretty hard to write. In fact, I edited that last list more than three times. Whoops. I didn’t want to be very vulnerable. I still don’t want to be vulnerable. But deep down inside of me… I enjoy it. I enjoy being known for who I really am not just by my skin. Beneath the skin… that’s what I love. And I love it when people go beneath their skin, too.

It’s beautiful. It’s majestic. And it’s terrifying.

Here in the mess and balance between my ups and downs, strengths and weakness, beauty and ugly, I find freedom to be okay with who I am right in this very moment. That is not at all to say I will stay here. I am an intentional person by nature. I will change whether it happens naturally or because I plan it, I will change. And it’s most likely the latter of the two.

I love balancing myself to know both sides of me. Because if can’t embrace my weaknesses, how can I embrace and love my strengths? In turn, I am learning to be grateful and content with who I am now. Because accepting and loving myself now will enable me to accept and love others now.

And isn’t that the real goal? To love, to be, and to dwell unrestrained and unashamed?

Vulnerability is the biggest part of being who you really are.

To love at all is to be vulnerable.

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