"Love comes from knowing imperfection and choosing to love anyway."
- Tara Brach
Recently, someone asked me what Christmas traditions I have. Jokingly, I replied, “Cry.” I have felt this way for as long as I can remember. There is something about being in a room full of people that makes me feel intensely lonely. It isn't because I don't love my family, I adore them. Sometimes, I find myself hiding the parts of me that they may judge or dislike. Can you relate? I think the holiday season is a great time to discuss practicing self-compassion (especially around our own imperfections.) Truthfully, my dread has nothing to do with my family, but my own belief that I am not good enough, just as I am. When taking inventory of another year passed, it is so easy to compare ourselves to those that might have found success and happiness in different forms than we have. The honest truth is, we all have our own successes and failures. On top of that, we all have our own ideas around what defines success and failure. For this reason, we cannot compare our lives to anyone else's. A practice I have taken up is allowing myself to sit in the awareness of my own insecurities. Often, when I take an eagle lens to the darker parts of myself, I am able to compassionately acknowledge that my insecurities and fears also make me who I am, not just the things that look good on paper. It is easy to shut away the parts of ourselves that aren't shiny and pretty, but we need our shadow aspects as well. We are human.
We are here to grow.
In the past few years, I have begun to be more vulnerable, and share softer versions of my truth. This has created many powerful shifts in my relationships and has deepened my connection to those around me, and to myself.
Food for Thought Take a minute to sit still and think about the people who matter most to you. How would you feel if they were carrying your challenges? Would you judge them? What would you say to them? What support would you offer them?