I have spent a lot of energy in my life contemplating the rightness of things. Not of right and wrong or morality (although I have considered those things as well). The “right” things I am talking about are—not that.
I am talking about the right haircut, shirt to wear, thing to say, way to act, person to be. The right career, the right marriage, the right way to live so I can be happy, free of great pain or embarrassment. The right way to “be” so I can feel liked and appreciated but not attract the attention of the critics.
My plan was always to play it safe and small and somehow still have it all.
Part of me must have unconsciously believed there was a formula. If I could just do and say all the right things, then life would be easier somehow. I would be free.
You might call it perfectionism. I call it that—but I also call it blindness and straight up denial. And dangerous. Something that I thought would guarantee my safety was the very thing putting me in the most danger. The truth is that life of full of variables that refuse to be tamed. My blind ambition to do so put everything on the line, every day for my entire life.
I’ve been reading some Brene. This week I also finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Have you? If you think like me and you haven’t, we can both agree that it’s time. If you have, you know exactly why it is so relevant to me.
When I first dove in I could tell right away these books were in my language. Am I alone in that? Do you ever meet someone and feel as if you were destined to be friends, that you have known one another forever? Sometimes I feel that way about books or blogs I read. It’s like we are in the same key.
What I love most, particularly about Brene Brown, is that she relates so much through humor, reality, honesty, and research. What’s not to love?
Reading through her work has been that for me too. Work. Very enjoyable, but leads to the very best kind of personal work and evaluation. Yuck, right? But not. I feel as if I am going about the true work of setting myself free. For reals this time.
I’ll leave you with this… This quote has been following me around a bit this week, so it must want to be shared.
“Our capacity for joy and happiness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken hearted.” Brene Brown
A broken heart and a contrite spirit has never sounded so good.