My last newsletter was in July about a man I met at Lake Catherine after some difficult days with my children. It was a true story, which shared my vulnerability and struggle of being a mother.
I knew that I was sending the newsletter out to hundreds of people, but I had some belief that people really didn’t read what I wrote. So when my inbox became flooded with comments and people stopped me at the store expressing their appreciation, I froze and haven’t been able to write since then.
I got scared that in my vulnerability of my stories and curiosity about life that people were going to see the very human side of me and judge me for not having it all together.
A few weeks ago at the start of the school year a fellow mom I was in conversation with said to me, “You are always so calm. It must be all the yoga you do.”
It was a genuine compliment, however a huge knot emerged in my belly.
I’ve been in her shoes before and that was the knot. Her comment pointed to my own expectations and ideals of what someone represents by their work, status or self-presentation. It also brought up the disappointment we feel when humans show their human side of not being who I thought they were.
The priest who is never to make a mistake.
The doctor who should have all the answers.
The therapist who is expected to give perfect advice.
The rich movie star who lives in a 5 million dollar house and has a “perfect” life.
The yoga teacher who is always calm, centered and kind.
We don’t give a lot of space for human beings to be imperfect, myself included. But even more important is that we don’t give ourselves permission to be imperfect. We create strategies to hide our imperfections by doing more or judging ourselves for what we could be doing better.
I am completely human with contradictions, vulnerabilities, insecurities, heartbreak, and even a temper, however I am also a human being that has a deep wish to wake up to all the lessons that life has to teach me to bring me closer to my essential being (some may say God). That is why I meditate and practice yoga.
Pema Chödrön, wonderfully reminds us, “Life’s work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep. The only way to do this is to open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along, to get to know its nature and let it teach you what it will. It’s going to stick around until you learn your lesson, at any rate.”