Lesson #4: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously, No One Else Does

by bye2mrwrong

Find peace in your imperfections.

The world is not black and white, yes or no, right or wrong, pass or fail, all or nothing.

Rather the world is colored with shades of gray.

Slow down and enjoy it.

Be crazy, be wild be silly.

Because life is too short to be cool.

So how does this pertain to me? My therapist told me to stop being a perfectionist. I still don’t see why he says it. So what if I didn’t want to speak the local language with him during the sessions. It’s not that I wouldn’t speak it because I wasn’t perfect at it; I just felt that I could express my feeling, my emotions, myself, better in English. So what if I’m a neat freak and my closet is color-coded and somehow resembles that of the guy from “Sleeping with the Enemy”. And so what if I always compare my weakness, myself not to the ordinary people around me, the less fortunate, the mentally challenged, the financially underprivileged; but to that small percentage that is better than me, smarter than me, sportier, funnier, prettier. Those qualities don’t make me a perfectionist; they make me a typical Virgo.

But in all our sessions I heard the same monotonous dictum over and over again. “Stop being a control freak” he would say. Not everything in life is under your control and you have to learn to deal with uncertainty. Let it go, let things flow, and stop beating yourself up about everything.

The tip that he  gave me was to write every day three things down that I did that I was proud of. Of-course I couldn’t think of anything and after two weeks came back empty-handed. But they didn’t need to be big, world-changing events. I didn’t need to win the Nobel Prize before writing something down on that piece of paper. They could be as small as calling a friend, making someone smile, paying my bills on time, not yelling or making a scene when I felt like exploding inside. The point of the exercise was that by the end of the week I would have 21 things that I’m proud of myself for. That way I could see what kind of person I am. I would stop always seeing my weaknesses, and start noticing my strengths, my inner beauty, me.

I guess if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that if my life was a movie, the divorce is the unexpected twist in the storyline. And I should find peace in it. Take in everything I’ve learned from it. I should enjoy my own life without comparing it with that of another. And of-course I should wait patiently for the end of the movie. It may not be so bad.

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3 Comments to “Lesson #4: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously, No One Else Does”

  1. Far too many women engage in negative self talk to their own detriment. You view yourself and your worth through your ex husband’s eye. This is a prescription for failure. You must view yourself critically and give yourself a passing grade. The world is full of very broken people who feel the need to spread their misery by dumping on innocent people and demeaning them and devaluing them. You don’t have to accept this negative viewpoint.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John

  2. I sympathise with you here, I do the same things to myself, and it caused some real damage to people who are close to me. Since I held myself to such high expectations (unrealistic ones too), my family felt the same kind of pressure from me. I didn’t realize it, but instead of hearing me when I said “I understand” or “It’s ok”, the could only hear the “but, what about……” or the “you really should….” It caused some strains with my kids and is one of the contributors to the failure of my marriage.

    It’s great to be thoughtful and hard working and thorough, there is definitely a time for it. But there are times when you can’t control the outcome and then working harder only makes it worse. And you might find that when you let go, relax and allow things to happen on their own, the solution that presents itself is better than any you could have strategised.

  3. Have you tried the Strengths Finder 2.0 book – it’s not expensive. You can get it on Amazon. I found it really helped as it made me feel very positive about my top 5 strengths and also understand how I could relate to others who have different strengths

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