I came across this quote the other day and couldn't believe how perfectly it described something I'd been trying to put into words.
"Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year."
Let’s just say I’m emerging from a season in my life that felt more like winter than spring.
And I thought it was important to talk about it almost because it was a sort of subtle slide downhill. It wasn’t some big dramatic downward spiral moment. Nothing in particular set it in motion. There was no rock bottom. It seemed like it just kind of happened gradually while I wasn’t looking.
And I’m guessing I’m not alone in having that kind of experience, so it seemed like a good idea to share how I’ve moved through it.
To put it simply, I felt uninspired, a little blue and awash in uncertainty.
I didn’t feel like I had anything to say that would be valuable to the people who read my blog. And I think I felt a bit like a failure in some sense because I’d gone through this whole transformation with my health, career and life, and everything wasn’t "perfect" after all that self-care and spiritual work.
I’d gone through a few years of intense change and growth, but I hadn’t really digested what all of it meant or incorporated it with who I was now.
I’d felt sure the old stuff I’d worked through was dead and gone, and a lot of it was, but some of it was just lying dormant beneath the surface waiting for me to work through it. And that’s ok. That’s what I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that it’s ok to not have it together all the time. I’ve learned that personal and spiritual growth never ends. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s messy and rife with uncertainty, and that’s ok. I think the point I’m trying to make is that it’s ok to have good days and bad days, to feel uncertain, to go at your own pace, and to do it all imperfectly.
So, if you hear nothing else from what I’m saying here, please let it be that whatever you’re going through at this moment is OK.
It’s ok to be where you are even when you wish it were different. It’s ok to admit you’re still navigating your way through falling down and getting back up. It’s ok to feel like you’re taking two steps back for every step forward. It’s ok and good, actually, to be imperfect. To embrace your imperfection.
It’s ok because with each fall or step backward you ARE making progress, you’re just not perfect. And no one is. Perfection is not attainable. It’s not real. And it doesn’t help us grow.
Once I took a step back and tuned into what was going on with me I could see that my old penchant for perfectionism had crept back into my life.
How? Expecting myself to be in full bloom all the time. Thinking some things weren’t worth doing at all if I couldn’t do them perfectly. Being impatient that my health and healing progress wasn’t going in a straight uphill line. Not blogging because I felt like I couldn’t string my words together perfectly and was worried about what people would think.
And once I could see that, I knew what I needed to do. I knew what I needed to shift.
I knew I needed to sit with my perfectionism fueled feelings. I needed to accept that was the way I felt and not berate myself for it. I needed to take the time to digest and understand everything I’d been through so I could really celebrate the imperfect yet incredible progress I’d made. I needed to revisit all the tools and spiritual lessons that helped me in the past so I could work through those feelings and come out the other side.
And I'm grateful for it now, because going through this process has reawakened something in me.
I feel more inspired, more creative, more centered. I feel like I have so much more to give to the women I help through my coaching, who are often going through the exact same thing. I feel like I have the opportunity to keep growing and changing as I lean into the imperfection of life.
So, whatever you’re going through right now I hope you’ll embrace the mess, the imperfection and the uncertainty of it all. It’s ok to be where you are. And to be real about what that feels like. Please rest easy knowing that you will bloom again when you’re ready.