For as long as I can remember, my mom has called me Grace. I’m not sure when it started, but I know it has to do with my complete and utter “gracefulness.” Let’s just call it what it is…I’m a klutz…I am definitely not the most graceful. You can ask any one of my friends and they’ll have a story to tell you about that. Let’s just say that I trip on flat surfaces…daily. And don’t get me started on finding bruises that I’m not entirely sure where they came from.
I used to get so embarrassed by it…as in, turn bright red, want to disappear into the background and hope nobody saw it. I can remember this one time in 2nd grade when I was asked to get something from the office – don’t ask me what that something was, but I know I was reading it on my way back to class. Needless to say, I walked into the wrong class and it wasn’t until I looked up and saw everyone staring at me that I realized it. I remember being mortified, turning bright red, and kind of laughing at myself before backing out and going to my classroom.
Now, I’m not sure how long that mortification lasted, but the fact that I can remember it like it was yesterday tells me a lot (believe me, I have the worst memory for things in the past…my mom thinks I’m faking, but I can’t remember jack from my childhood!!).
There are other instances of doing something like this…embarrassing myself so badly that I would get mad at whoever was around for laughing at me. In my mind, I wanted to be so perfect and flawless. And if others could see that I wasn’t, I was *pissed*! I honestly don’t know if I was pissed at myself or at them for laughing at me. But I know this ruined a lot of days for me.
And don’t even get me started on public speaking! Talk about mortifying in and of itself, but if I messed up a word or a concept or what I wanted to say, it was like the end of the world! I would get bright red and overheated (think sweating…awesome!!) and beat myself up for days afterwards! There was even one class where we video-recorded our speeches and had to watch them after the fact and write a critique about them. Oh…it was cringe-worthy. I could barely stand to watch myself and have to re-live the agony!!
Does any of this sound familiar??
*I shake my head and smack myself in the forehead*
This was how I reacted to E V E R Y T H I N G for many years. I couldn’t enjoy anything, because I was so worried about screwing it up or making an a&% out of myself! Now how fun does that sound?! I’m sure I pissed off quite a few friends, as well.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this changed for me (and don’t get me wrong…I still have my little quirks about what I will and won’t do for fear of looking stupid, but I’m definitely WAY more relaxed than I used to be!). Realizing I wasn’t perfect nor was I ever going to be helped tremendously! I changed my mindset big time and learned to laugh at myself!! Because if I can’t laugh at myself, then I am going to be miserable!! I spend my days running into desks or walls or tripping on flat surfaces, for pete’s sake!! And laughing at myself is far better than being pissed off at myself or the situation or God forbid, anyone around who is laughing at me!
So I’ve accepted being called Grace…I think I’ve actually embraced it. And the more I’m okay with it, the more relaxed and happy I’ve become! *GASP* Who knew that calming down my perfectionist tendencies would help me be happier?!?! Believe me, I wish I’d known this many years ago!
A fellow health coach sent me this quote today: “Perfection is a concept that was derived from something you decided was ‘good’ or ‘right,’ and what you are doing now is being compared to that decision. But, in reality, perfection is nothing but an idea.”
This is such a P E R F E C T way to describe perfection (yes, pun intended). Because what is perfection? According to google, perfection is the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. Have you ever met anyone who is perfect? I know I certainly haven’t. But I was trying to be *that* person!! I placed all these conditions on myself of what was “good” or “right” and when I deviated from those conditions, I was so hateful and angry at myself. This did nothing but make me a hateful and angry person!
Ugh!!! I wasted so many years being that way! It’s taken me several years and lots of internal work, but I have finally embraced my flaws and defects (yes, I’m happy to call them defects). I LOVE my flaws!! I am perfectly imperfect! And I am perfectly flawed! Knowing this…embracing this…accepting this…is so FREEING!! I don’t have to strive for perfection anymore, because
At all. In any way, shape, or form!
Whew – this is such a huge relief! HUGE! GINORMOUS! AMAZING! I am free to be exactly who I’m meant to be! Without any expectations or eagerness to please or be perfect! And you know what else is great about this? God’s grace is bigger than my failures! His grace is bigger than your failures, too!
It doesn’t matter how many times I make a fool of myself (by tripping or running into my desk or the wall that I swear just moved there!!), He still loves me and thinks I’m enough exactly as I am. His Grace is enough for me. And I am pleased to be called Grace, even if it’s not meant in the exact same way.
Accept and embrace your flaws…because they are beautiful. And no matter how many times you “fail” at something, know that God is there. And more importantly, know that it means you are trying!! If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying, which means you aren’t growing!!
I hope you have a beautiful day! And know that you are truly beautiful, flaws, failures, and all!
With love and wellness (and random bruises all over!!),
PS – this has become one of my favorite songs! It speaks to me on so many levels!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments :)