The Gifts of Imperfection

I’m very bad at letting go. I hold tightly. As my boss said yesterday, I want to see all the balls in the air, at the same time, in perfect harmony.

I don’t see why that’s so much to ask.

This week, I chose to read Gifts of Imperfection (which also has like 3 subtitles) by Brene Brown. I initially came across Dr. Brown through a special she did on TedTalks and PBS, which eventually came a viral video in the social work world.

gift

Her entire life, Dr. Brown studied shame – its impact, overcoming it, understanding it. These questions led her pretty directly to trying to understand what makes a whole life. One in which we feel fulfilled and find “courage, compassion and connection.”

Awesome right?

Yea I totally failed at finishing this book (yet). This tiny, slim volume has conquered me (as of today).

A huge part of me wants to shrug off what I’ve read so far “yes, yes, I get it – let go and it’ll all be okay, suuuure,” or to not honestly admit how much it really does reflect on my own nature.

I share with the author a tendency to want all the information, to then analyze it, and follow the prescribed instructions. As P says, I’m a very good German rule-follower.

What Dr. Brown calls her “great unraveling journey” (in which category she also includes any huge life milestones imaginable), she speaks of the harsh reality check she had to give herself. No matter how many volumes read or how many papers published, she didn’t have the answers.

And that’s okay.

I know that most days, but reminding myself to just let it go (seriously, my volunteers put the address stickers in the wrong place today – HOW HARD IS THAT TO DO RIGHT?!?! DO YOU NOT GET MAIL?) can be difficult.

Beyond that, it’s really not the small stuff that I “sweat,” but I often gloss over the deep exploration of my own faults, harmful tendencies and self-perfectionism. Not that any of us should dwell there – but to reflect on them in order to accept them.

To be okay with not being okay.

To turn from obsessive perfectionism to “healthy striving.”

First, I’m going to finish this book.

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