Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blessedly Imperfect


"Forget about enlightenment. Sit down and listen to the wind singing in your veins. Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones. Open your heart to who you are, right now. Not who you'd like to be, but the being right here before you, inside you, around you. All of you is holy. You’re already more than whatever you can know. Breathe out, look in, let go." ~John Welwood   (Thank you, beautiful Alia for introducing me to this amazing quote.)

"Blessedly Imperfect"  Print available here 



I don't get it.

How did we as humans ever get the idea

that we're somehow "supposed" to be perfect, flawless - that it's not okay to make mistakes, mess up - look stupid sometimes?

That our skin, our bodies, our houses, our hair, our children "should" be unblemished, impeccable, neat, tidy, perfectly in place?  Always together.  

That we're supposed to sort through the endless layers of SO MUCH and stay on top of it somehow...work, laundry, toilet cleaning, relationships, finances, worldly events, grocery shopping, pets (and their fleas), soccer games, cross country meets, PTA meetings, the media, our social lives, exercise, yard work, the internet, so many people in need of so much - the INFINITE number of choices we can make in any given moment - and, and, and....

How is it possible to stay on top of all of this?  

Is it such a secret that we all, in varying degrees, feel deep pain, paralyzing doubt, heart-wrenching sadness - grief?  That sometimes we want to escape our husbands, our wives, our kids, our lives - ourselves.  That we have scars and bruises, belly fat, cellulite, mean thoughts?  That one minute we're patient, kind, clear - full of joy - and in the next we want to hightail it out of here (wherever here happens to be).  That sometimes we don't want to get out of bed in the morning, that - on some days, we want to be anyone but ourselves.  

That often we ache for something we can't name.

Why do we go through so much effort trying to hide, cover up, conceal, make excuses for - contain our HUMAN-ness?  

Why do we think something or someone outside of ourselves is going to fix what we think is broken?

How ridiculously dry and lifeless would it be if we all walked around neat and tidy and impeccable  - on top of it all?  

In a recent interview I did with the beautiful Amanda Fall (creator of the soulful online magazine Sprout), she said:

"I’m so grateful to be learning that 'my mess can become my message.' Everything I’ve gone through, all the frailties, all the oddnesses that make me who I am—hold, at their root, my power. My unique viewpoint. My calling in this world. And I think part of that calling is to help others see that our differentness is not our failing—instead, it can be our greatness."   
 Amanda Fall

Imagine if you started to see that your "imperfections," your pain, your struggles, your differentness - your  "mess" - is the blessing you have to offer the world. 

Imagine if you started to see that what makes you different/odd/quirky/weird is what gives you your own brand of beauty and you stood solidly, feet planted firmly - in the center of your YOU-ness?  

Imagine if you got really REAL with the reality that you'll never, ever, ever be on top of it all - if you stopped making getting on top of it all the goal?  And instead made loving yourself, and others - no matter what - the blessed focus.

What if you knew, really knew, that there is nothing whatsoever to fix.

Which is not at all to say that we don't continually challenge ourselves, stretch ourselves in the direction of the moon, keep our heart, our eyes, our ears on our very own north, pick ourselves up when we stumble - come back, again and again, to this brand new, full-of-possibility, miracle moment.  But we do this stretching, this challenging - this expanding - from a place of true love, compassion, self acceptance, rather than from a place of needing to fix or not enough or I really should get my shit together.

Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones. Open your heart to who you are, right now. Not who you'd like to be, but the being right here before you, inside you, around you. 

This really is the doorway to all things good and healing and right and holy - I'm sure of it. 

Yes, you are imperfect. And so am I.  The secret is out.  

Hallelujah, Amen. 

Thank goodness.





21 comments :

  1. The open secret! a wonderful post! I love the quote and will be using it often!!

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    1. Thank you for leaving your words here, Hettienne.

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  2. I can hardly IMAGINE seeing myself as already perfect. This is like some sort of secret--like it's really ok to be ourselves, without judgment, without fear, without distress.
    But I think we try to live up more to our own standards than everyone else's. I find myself often apologizing for not being good enough and am often surprised when people tell me I'm more than enough.

    I totally understand about one minute feeling "ok" and then the next wanting to high-tail it to somewhere completely different. (Probably one of the reasons I'm itching for a proper vacation.) Is it really so difficult to let go of our own insecurities? The answer is yes--because it requires an amount of trust in ourselves that not all of us are comfortable with.
    I love the painting, the quote, the post--everything. I'm going to have to bookmark this to remind myself IT'S OK to be imperfect. Maybe the imperfection is what makes me closer to perfect than we realize.

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    1. "I think we try to live up more to our own standards than everyone else's." I fully agree, Karin...if we can let ourselves off the hook, accept ourselves fully (even while stretching/expanding - stepping up/waking up), it stops mattering what other people's standards are for us. Ah...what freedom.

      It's a constant practice, for sure - but truly a deep, deep breath when we can let go of this need to be anyone other than ourselves.

      And yes - I fully think it's the imperfections that make us perfect - perfectly us.

      Thank you for leaving your thoughts/words here, dear Karin. Love to you. xo

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  3. "All of you is holy"--oh, Julia, I needed this . . . and even needed to be reminded of my own words (thank you for including them--and for coaxing them out of me in the first place). This is an important & life-shifting perspective . . . if only we (I) can surrender into it. Thank you. I love you. xoxo

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    1. I'm right here with you, precious Amanda...doing my best to surrender (moment by moment by moment). Deep, deep breaths...

      Thank you for your beautiful words, my friend. I can't tell you how many times "My mess is my message," has gone through my mind. These words seriously save me and daily.

      I love you.

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  4. I needed these words today so very very much. Thanks for letting them out through you from the Universe.
    Love and light from my perfectly imperfect self to yours.

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    1. Kim, thank you for blessing me with your words. Love to you.

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  5. "my mess can become my message"
    oh my this should be my first ink

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    1. Yes...so powerful. These words are becoming my new mantra.

      Sending love to you.

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  6. Dear sweet Julia, this post is written in the rare language of love, sending the good news to waiting hearts. How did we become so lost? Is it a generational thing…all those layers of fear, of hiding, of lying? So many precious souls have stayed locked away in cells created by society, and even their own parents, meant to protect them from rejection and harm.

    We fret and hide, performing like dancing dogs for meager rewards, when in reality we own the moon, and the swelling seas.

    Embracing who I am right now—Leah, with my achy bones and big bootie;) “right now Leah”, not “maybe some day Leah”. Accepting myself now because the real Leah is only now, and she has some things to say and do. And in order to do them she must first accept herself and then pay attention, so that she can see and hear all the things that love wants to tell her.

    Julia, the words you write are powerful, so don’t ever doubt the gifts within you. Keep on speaking and setting the prisoners free.

    Life is messy, so how could we expect to be anything but messy.

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    1. "We fret and hide, performing like dancing dogs for meager rewards, when in reality we own the moon, and the swelling seas."

      Oh me. Leah, do you know how f-ing powerful you are? The way you put words together (the above ones, for example) are only one of the many, many reasons I love you.

      And these:

      Embracing who I am right now—Leah, with my achy bones and big bootie;) “right now Leah”, not “maybe some day Leah”. Accepting myself now because the real Leah is only now, and she has some things to say and do. And in order to do them she must first accept herself and then pay attention, so that she can see and hear all the things that love wants to tell her.

      Holy heck, you have a way. I'm so very happy you are embracing "right now Leah" because she blesses me deeply (and daily).

      Love and more love to you, beautiful one.

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  7. amen!
    such a beautiful post
    love your elephant too

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  8. Good morning.

    This was such a wonderfully wise and encouraging read.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Kindly,
    Kris

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    1. You're so very welcome, Kristin. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to connect.

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  9. What a celebration this is. Love, love, love.

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    1. And love, love, love back to you, my beautiful J friend.

      I treasure you, my friend.

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  10. Superb post Julia, thank you!

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  11. I just don't have the right words to say what this means to me. Only that you need to know that while I am writing this month about how my prayer life has changed so drastically, and your wisdom helps me remember that my mess (ie. prayer life that seems lacking) is just where I need to be. And that maybe telling my story of how that change has happened will encourage someone who needs to hear it.

    Wading in the muck with my hip boots on...and sending you lots of hugs :-)

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  12. Julia, I just received the beautiful gift of this print from my darling friend, Sherry Smyth. It has come to me at just the right time and I can feel the love and acceptance shining through this sweet elephant piece ! Thank you, thank you for what you bring to the world. Much love and light !

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What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia