It’s been over a month since my last post on Embracing My Shadow. I have been avoiding you… No let me be honest – actually, I’ve been avoiding myself. And I must confess that I am ashamed.
I was so excited with the momentum that was building with this movement of Shadow Lovers. I planned for a new year that was full of order and direction for the blog. You can read all about my plans here. I followed the advice of many a veteran blogger and created a schedule of blog posts. The writing had come to me so easily in 2012, I just figured that it would continue. I tend to keep my ideas in the Notes app in my phone but I felt the need to be a little more organized. I printed up a calendar and planned out my postings for the first three months of 2013. I was ready to take 2013 by storm. I was the consummate perfectionist. I was on top of it. And then, it all stopped…
I was so excited that I forgot myself. I forgot what happens when I place so much pressure on planning and I forget what it means to be in the moment. I forgot what this endeavor was really about. I was caught in a whirlwind and I couldn’t keep up. So I did what I am prone to do when I get overwhelmed. I disappeared…
Time passes. I keep telling myself I’ll get something done. Then I don’t. Then I feel guilty. Then I put it off some more. Then I build it up to be this huge thing and I stress myself out over it. This stress impacts my entire life. I feel a tightening of my chest. My eating habits change. My sleeping patterns change. I get sick. And it generally comes back to the one thing that I am not dealing with. Does anyone else do this, or am I alone in my avoidance issues?
I used to think that this was simple procrastination, but I am learning that it goes much deeper than that. I have learned about what it means to be a perfectionist and must admit that I suffer from this personality disposition. Perfectionism, depression and anxiety create a perfect storm in my life that has led to overwhelming despair, shame and a type of paralysis that perpetuates the self-defeating thought that I am not good enough, nor will I ever be.
So I confess to you, dear Shadow Lovers. My perfectionist tendencies got the best of me and as soon as I fell off of the proverbial wagon, I had to disappear. I mean, how could I continue on when the plan had been changed? When I hadn’t lived up to my end of the bargain? When I felt like I had let myself down? Tis easier to hide…
But I’m learning that not only does this way of being not serve me well, it goes against everything I preach and teach about being authentic. More importantly, it perpetuates a cycle that harms the very essence of who I am and who God has created me to be. So I turn here, to you (and to me) and confess that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I over plan and fall short. I get paralyzed and everything stops. It’s time for this to change. I’m going to be honest with myself and recognize that the world doesn’t end because my plans fall apart. I am going to be more gracious towards myself. I am going to remember to live in the moment and just go with it. I am going to give myself a break. I am going to look at myself each and everyday and say, “I am enough.”
I ask that you be patient with me as I work these things out. Maybe you too suffer from some of these ways of being. Maybe we can walk together as we learn to embrace, love and care for our WHOLE selves. Maybe, just maybe, we can come to a place where we realize that we are enough, just as we are.