Oh my goodness…..this is a big topic. A topic I need to visit often to refresh and renew my attitude towards “imperfection”.
I get so down with my Multiple Sclerosis and what it has taken away from me and what it is giving me in return. It has taken away my ability to even strive for anything remotely close to “perfection”. I know that nobody is perfect. But we all strive to be the best version of ourselves in so many ways. That’s why we exercise, eat healthy, dress in nice clothes, get our hair styled and our nails freshly polished. Some of these day to day things I did to try and be the best version of myself are slowly getting put in my rear view mirror.
As I get more handicapped and less independent I lose sight of my blessings and tend to focus on what I’ve lost. I get stuck in negativity. Adjusting to the disability is a very difficult transition….for me it’s a real grieving process. According to experts in psychology it’s normal and healthy for people like myself dealing with a major loss of health and limited use of my body to take time to mourn our old self and learn to love our new self.
For the purpose of this article I don’t mean the physicality I’ve lost. I mean SPIRIT. I need a kick in the “butt” from time to time. I need a “refresher” to bring me back to the present moment and embrace the life I’ve been given and be grateful for it….regardless of the MS.
Learning to live with our “imperfection” and love ourselves in spite of the shortfalls is not easy. It takes a lot of “soul searching”. In my case I spend a whole lot of time inside my own head. Way too much time……and I’m not nice to myself which inflicts on those close to me. That’s just not fair to my loved ones.
I read a book written by Dr. Rene Brown called “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are”.
This book is an excellent reminder to love yourself, count your blessings, be more mindful and realize that no matter where you are in your journey….YOU ARE ENOUGH. And to take that one step further….so are the people around you.
The unpredictability of life makes living “blissfully” all the time near impossible for anyone…healthy or not. Everyone can use a boost in mindfulness….to learn to live in the present moment and do the best with what you’ve got. We only go this way once…they say. We should try and make our journey as special as it really is.
When I’m blindsided by extreme MS Lassitude and cannot do anything physical, emotional or mentally because the fatigue is SOOO extreme, it’s very hard to be “grateful”. In the moment I find myself depressed and have feelings of hopelessness. My “inner critic” exhausts me even more than the MS takes from me physically. It’s a lose-lose situation. It’s not who I want to be. It’s not how I want to live. It’s just so difficult to turn off the “woe is me”. That’s where I get “stuck” in the “muck”….so to speak.
So from today forth….until the next time I need a “refresher”….I will try to practice what I preach.
- I’m going to let go of my ideals of who I think and thought I would be or should be and embrace who I am. I’m going to try and be easier on myself, which in turn will make life easier for those close to me.
- You’ve heard the saying “what you focus on is what you get” or something like that. When I focus on my disability, that’s all I see and think about. If I could accept it, and stop dwelling in that dark place I would see more of the simple blessings that arise each day. I will strive to focus on and acknowledge my daily blessings.
- MS is a BIG obstacle to work around but I’m going to do my best on the playing field and try and stay focused on the game of life. My hubby is always positive. He just keeps telling me we will deal with the obstacles related to disability as they present themselves to us. He reminds me that I’m not the first or only person to go through this. I MUST, MUST, MUST…enjoy what I can do today….stop dwelling on what tomorrow brings.
Accepting “imperfection” is the only route to self-love. It’s my goal today and going forward.