I have been meeting new parts of myself a great deal lately. Some are surprising and exciting, others are darker and deep. Both are valid and bring gifts. One thing I have realized is how perfectionism plays a larger role in certain areas of my life than I would like to admit. With art-making I don't see the need to be perfect come into play as often, another indication that my creative process holds many truths for my day-to-day life. I can see perfectionism rear its ugly head when it comes to parenting, being a wife, and being a community member. though This says to me that there is a lack of self-compassion going on, that comparison is on full force and that there is a sort of disconnect from an internal peace.
Recently in a therapy session the idea of being awkward came up, how sometimes we have to be uncomfortable in order to be vulnerable and truthful to who we are. I could feel my aversion to this idea, to the thought of purposefully being awkward as a way to feeling more free. It has dawned on me that I like to churn and mix thoughts in my head until I feel like they are polished and "perfect". Some how obsessing over a conversation that I need to have and thinking up the dialogue that is going to accompany said conversation and all of the possible ways that the conversation could take is much more useful than just being open, raw and maybe, yes, awkward in the moment. Whew. Just writing that exhausted me. The idea that I didn't have to spend so much energy on imaginary scenarios and instead could just speak my voice shakily was both scary and exhilarating. I realized that being seen as imperfect when it comes to parenting, being a partner, being a part of a family is frightening to me. But when I try to hide beneath the perfect facade I end up feeling disconnected from those I love and hollow inside.
Really it is so obvious that imperfection and the risk of appearing awkward is such a more rewarding and gratifying way to live. I am realizing though that thinking is my default when really I need to switch control to my heart and how I feel. I have tended to think of myself as an emotional person, and I am, but I also realize how easily I discredit my body and go straight to my analyzing mind. And I took a whole life coaching course on listening to the body!!
Being awkward. I am going to try it on more often. As I approach 40 in another year, there really isn't much reason for not trying to live in a more purposeful and gratifying way. To me that means, in a big part ,being more comfortable with being seen for who I really am. What do I really have to lose?
How do you feel about being awkward when it means expressing who you really are? Easy? Hard? Worth it?