When is the last time you admitted, ‘I am just a hot mess’?
We live in a very proud society. Often it is all about perception. We feel like we have to put on a brave face or act like we have perfect kids, a perfect house or a perfect marriage. We feel like we have to be leaders and being a leader means that we get everything right, we don’t mess up and we have overcome all of our own struggles.
Here is the problem with the entire line of thinking: It is all a big fat lie. The truth is that I am a mess and so are you. No one is perfect: from your favorite author, to that really cool blogger, to your yoga teacher, to the life coach, to the pastor at your church. We are all, at times, at hot mess. Yes, we have learned some things along the way. Yes, we share our experiences so that our lives might shed some light onto the path of those we reach. People then look to our lives to find dysfunction and attempt to discredit the message. This thinking is all wrong. It discourages our leaders from being authentic and honest. It discourages people from talking about their struggles for fear of judgment. It facilitates the lie of perfection.
Here is another truth: We cannot fix what we don’t acknowledge. I have heard it said that, “Our secrets keep us sick.” It is true that those things we keep hidden, the ones that we are too ashamed to acknowledge, fester, grow and rule our lives from the unconscious.
So, let’s just make a vow right now. Let’s stop pretending (more harshly called lying) and wear our imperfection as a badge.
Hi! My name is Joy. I occasionally (frequently) yell at my kids and sometimes (often) wish someone would borrow them for a few days. I sometimes find apple cores under their bed which have been there way too long – like penicillin factory too long. I don’t always (rarely) cook dinner and I am terrible (horrible, awful, ghastly bad) at relationships with the opposite sex. I attract men with serious issues and, yes, I realize this means I have more work to do on myself.
WHEW! How awesome does that feel! Try it!
Our whole world changes when we acknowledge our imperfections. Other people feel free to share their struggles and we learn that we’re not all that different. The ones who work the hardest to give the perception of perfection are usually the most troubled on the inside. When we fully grasp this concept, we begin to see the world differently. It is somewhat illogical but the more we acknowledge our imperfection, the more confident we become. It takes a significant amount of energy to guard our secrets. When we just air it out, it loses its power.
If it makes you feel better, you can follow up with all the things you do right. (undoubtedly, a much longer list) But, my wish for you is to get to a place where you don’t have to remind yourself that you’re a good parent or a good person. Our imperfections don’t make us any less “good” (unless, of course, we’re comparing ourselves to God in which case we should also add God Complex to our list of imperfections). We can let our imperfections stand out there all alone because IT IS OKAY .
One last truth: YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL MESS. Don’t you find those who are pretending to be perfect, with their perfect lives and perfect bodies and perfect husband and perfect hair and perfect, perfect, perfect to be rather boring, boring, boring? Don’t you love real people? Don’t you love those of us who are vulnerable and say the wrong thing sometimes? Those are the entertaining people at the party. Those are the people who can build real connections. Those are the people who are actually the healthiest among us. Those are truly, the beautiful people.
So, go forth my beautiful friends and be, fully and wonderfully, the hot mess that you are. We love you for it.