As I drive to work some mornings I see crows sitting on light posts watching the vehicles pass by. The other day I noticed two kissing. Well at least that is what it looked like to me! I know that many people don't notice them at all or if they do it is with distaste. They are noisy birds that make a mess of garbage or anything else they can get their beaks in to. And yet my eyes are often drawn to them in an intriguing way. What is the message they have for me?
I watched "Zoo Keeper" with Kevin James last weekend. While the animals of the zoo have many messages for James, the crow is quickly dismissed by the other animals saying emphatically "You're not a zoo animal"! How many times do I dismiss messages because they aren't coming from right source. I listen to the ones that will give me the answer I want to hear. There can be a noisy caw from the side lines and I ignore it. I turn away, close the window, I shut it out.
What would happen if I listened openly, intriguingly to all messages coming in? To the ones that maybe aren't expert opinions. Or the ones that may be really hard to hear. What if I paused and listened to the messages that may take me to a place of discomfort, for the sake of learning and growth? And what about the more subtle messages? Twinges in my body, a tightness in the back of my head, a stirring of emotions. There are messages when my kids do something that irritates me, when my dog whines (or snores as she does more often now) and in the emails I receive, the news on the radio and the signs on bulletin boards I walk by. What happens when these messages are ignored?
Do you remember the movie "Bruce Almighty"? When he asks God for a sign. I chuckle as sign after sign appears and he disregards them before he crashes into a post. How many times have I done that in my life? Asked for signs, in fact begged for a sign to help me make a decision and then ignored them when they are there.
If I was to get through the judgement of where the message was coming from I may find true wisdom in the message. The crows sitting looking at me as I drive by are saying Kathy, Kathy, look up here...........
I am not perfect. There, I've said it. While this is not news to either me or the people around me, the ability to admit it to others is something I don't do very often. I have this fear of being judged anything but perfect.
I am not a perfect parent. Although I've learned a lot over the last 20 years of raising kids, I have made mistakes, had missed opportunities and failed miserably every now and them. I was not a perfect "Boss". I did not always provide everything they needed to be the best employees they could be and I certainly wasn't as responsive as I could have been. I am not a perfect wife. I am not always there when my husband needs me and don't always fight fair. I am not a perfect Life Coach. I sometimes ask totally ineffective questions and send clients in the wrong place to look for their answers. I am not a perfect friend. I neglect my friends, I interrupt them when they are telling me something important to them and I expect a lot from them!
What I also know though is that I try my best, I work hard, and I learn and I grow. I know I do my best with what is available to me at any given time. Whether that is how much energy or time I have, what skills I have learned or what other things are going on in my life. And probably most importantly, I know that I am no different than anyone else. None of us is perfect.
What amazes me most though is that I've spent years "pretending" to be perfect. To admit to someone that I don't have as many clients as I would like to have, that I am having problems with my kids, that I don't know the answers, that I can't do it, that I got in to a fight with my husband, or that I have put on a few pounds, seems like I would be admitting failure rather than imperfection.
I was challenged this week by a fellow colleague to look at my relationship with perfection and where it gets in the way in my life. I want to be perfect at something before starting it. So I don't start until I really know what I am doing. A few years ago I took swimming lessons because I wanted to go regularly to lane swim. But because I am not really very good at it (a.k.a. not perfect) I am embarrassed to go to lane swim. I don't want to admit to people that after two sets of lessons, I still swallow half of the pool! Therefore I miss the opportunity to practice. I miss the benefits out of attending lane swim like meeting other people, relaxation and exercise. My fear of being judged imperfect gets in the way.
So my challenge for myself is to look at where I am worried about being perfect. Where I am concern that others might be judging me for being anything but perfect. And then, to get over it and get back to enjoying life.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
Sign up for my newsletter here!
Want to follow my blog?
Click the RSS feed below and follow the instructions. That way, you won't miss any updates!