“I Untamed the Tamed Woman inside me. I gave my power to the quiet voice of sensitivity that was buried so deep inside me. I learned to release my anger, especially the anger that I directed at myself. I gained a new kind of strength, by allowing my power to work in support of my vulnerable side. I confronted my deepest fear by learning to embrace my weakness. I learned to lose a fight. I learned how to win in the face of great difficulty. I learned to fall down and let someone else help me back up. I learned to stand up for what I believe, yet listen intently to others. I learned to hear my own whispering voice. I even learned how to show my tears in front of other women.” ~Carol Hartung
Someone had the audacity today to tell me that I’m impatient. The nerve! My initial reaction was to defend it and reason out and prove why I wasn’t impatient. When I later vented to my cousin (more like my brother) on the phone that I was accused of being impatient, he said matter-of-factly back, “So what? So what if you’re impatient? We all have our shortcomings, maybe that’s just one of yours. Who cares?” It wasn’t until then that I stopped and realized he was right. Who cares? I sat back and gave myself the permission to be impatient. As I thought about it more, I realized someone could accuse me of practically any quirk, and my first reaction would be to defend myself of it regardless of whether it was merited or not.
Trying so hard my whole life to be the perfect version of me has left little to no room to just be me…prickly quirks and all. I write and write about the need to accept others and forgive ourselves, yet my first reaction is to reject anything less than perfection. What sort of double standard is that?
I agree there are shortcomings that we can strive to overcome…like people pleasing. But maybe there are some – like impatience – and I’m not fully admitting yet to that one until I ponder it patiently for a while longer – that are simply a part of us. Why do I leap to jump to avoid and deny the quirks when in my head I know it’s those traits that give us the marks of distinction as individuals? I don’t want to be a cookie-cutter prototype of a person, but my instinct still flees to the high school popular girl circle. I need a pot to hit over my own head…right now.
My scars: my wrinkles, my messed up pinky toenail, my obsessive mindset over things I want, my bedsheet greed, my love of bad English drama, my brooding and over-analytic approach, my awful karaoke voice, my stubbornness, my (possible) impatience…it’s all a part of this unique woman that somehow in some way has turned into quite a piece of work….or is it a work in progress? I’ve overcome so many obstacles and still have my body and heart in tact and some of those “shortcomings” were what helped me survive through the tough times…ok maybe not my messed up pinky toenail…I could really do without that one. But you know what? Even that I got that from military bootcamp, and I look back on being in the military as something that helped me grow up and learn about things like work ethic, patriotism and responsibility. So I’ll take my messed up pinky toenail if that was the price…easy sacrifice.
I suppose I’m learning how to untame the otherwise tame woman inside…giving free space and permission to just BE. The result is the softer, more real me. There is true strength in being comfortable in our own skin – weaknesses, strengths, scars, skills – all of it.
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ~Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita