December 17, 2011 by Beth Hess
2011, among other things, has been my the year of my Gifts of Imperfection Project, reading slowly through Brene Brown’s beautiful “Guide to a Wholehearted Life” and learning to “Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.”
Reflecting on each of Brown’s guideposts, based on extensive research on the common denominators among those who are living Wholeheartedly, my heart is filled to see progress in myself in these areas.
In short, the key to wholehearted living, Brown says, “Means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
- Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
- Cultivating Self Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
- Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
- Cultivating Gratitude & Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
- Cultivating Intuition & Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
- Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
- Cultivating Play & Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
- Cultivating Calm & Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
- Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
- Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
(I did not blog about this topic specifically. But if you could have seen me during “Dance Party” just this morning, or even one of the evenings over the last several months, you would know I am embracing this with all the enthusiasm of a 6-year-old!)
I am no less imperfect than I was in January. But far more wholehearted. And I have been blessed beyond measure by the gifts of being willing to be imperfect — or, rather, embracing the imperfection.
- Compassion: Most fully for myself – the toughest critic in my life BY FAR. The scolding school marm is not so loud in my head. She’s learning grace.
- Courage: When you begin to realize that God only made one you and he made you perfectly imperfect in all the right ways, it’s so much easier to reach higher, jump farther, try MORE. I am SO grateful for the journey courage took me on in 2011.
- Connection: When you finally let your real self be seen, others will show you their real selves, too. And then you get to be real together. And THAT is a very special gift, indeed!
So how about you?
Are you ready to embrace your imperfection and begin living a Wholehearted Life. No matter where you are in life – what you have done, or not done; no matter what you think you need to ‘fix’ before you start, I can assure you there is only one best time to start. Now.
“The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. The 2nd best time is today.” (Chinese Proverb)