If there's one thing in life I just can't stand, it's a mess. Maybe not so much in the literal sense - if you've ever seen my room then you know what I'm sayin' - but more in the idea of something not being just right--perfect.
I hate making the wrong choices whether they're life-changing or seemingly small; do I say yes to a second date with someone that I only kind of enjoyed spending time with on the first one? Do I quit my job to travel the world and be a stay at home gypsy? Do I sleep an extra hour or do I get my ass at of bed at 5am to get to yoga? Should I eat the pizza? (Yes, always eat the pizza.)
But in all seriousness, I've started to notice that I let my fear of not being perfect dictate far too many choices in my life. And of course, it's not that I think that I'm perfect - gosh, no - and it's also not that I'm preoccupied with what others would think. Let's get real here, though, I'm human and I care what people think - I feel like that's part of our nature - but that's not the driving force behind my incessant need for perfection. It's that when I make the wrong choices which then lead to regret, heartbreak, failure, or any of those gnarly, undesirable feelings, I feel naked. Bear to the bone. Gulp...vulnerable. The big, bad V word that makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
I somehow convince myself, despite knowing the ridiculousness of it all, that if I can seem perfect, or create something perfect, then I will be worthy, desirable, enough. And what more do we want as human beings than to feel those three things? (Why yes, I do read a lot of Brene Brown.) So, instead of telling someone how I feel about them, I don't. Rather than sharing my "big idea", I sit on it. Rather than exercising my no and respecting my own boundaries, I say yes - or vice versa.
I mean, what's more heart-wrenchingly painful than longing for someone you know will never feel the same way about you as you do for him or her? What's more embarrassing than putting out something you've lovingly crafted but no one sees the beauty in it that inspired you to create it in the first place? What's more awkward than saying something and no one says, "I feel that, too"? I'll do next to anything to avoid the feeling of a chink (or six) in my armor. Vulnerability is hard, man, but it is also extremely necessary. Can't live with it, can't live without it. Ja feel?
Por ejemplo, I never want to say exactly the wrong thing or completely, utterly fail at something I've worked so hard to succeed at, but even more so I don't want to live a life made up of fear-based decisions. No, that's not the life that's going to get me where I want to go. As Brene Brown said, when we dim the dark, we inevitably dim the light.
As I've been talking about lately, each Wednesday in November I've been participating in a conference call/yoga teacher mentorship program led by Mary Beth LaRue, a yoga guru and mentor of mine, where she drops all sorts of truth bombs all over the place. It's life-changing, you guys. And on one of our first calls, she talked about the idea of giving ourselves "permission to be messy." Pardon my French but, umm, helllllll yes. Albeit this being about teaching, this is (shocker) one of those things that you learn in the studio (figuratively, in this case) but is so damn applicable to life outside the four corners of your mat.
So, for 2017 (and the remainder of the-year-that-must-not-be-named) I'm going to work on getting my hands dirty; I'm going to give myself permission to get a little messy. I don't want the attempted numbing/avoidance of my fears and the darkness to have the power to dim the light that shines so brightly in my life. I'm going to show up and suck a whole lot more, if you know what I mean. I'm going to take chances. I'm going to push myself way out of my comfort zone. I'm going to live and breathe out of my heart space, even if it means my ego will take a few left and right hooks here and there and my heart might get smushed along the way. I want to be able to feel my life while I'm in it - the ups and the downs, the good and the bad - rather than always wondering what could have been, or playing it safe. And I have a feeling that it's going to bring so much more joy, growth, wealth (not in regards to money, although I definitely wouldn't turn that down) and prosperity to the table than I could have ever imagined.
Cheers to being messy, ya filthy animals.