I'm not one of those people with a perfected life with everything figured out.
As a person who coaches, teaches, and reaches out via email, I have to admit this: I get really frustrated with some people who land in my inbox!
You know --that coach who is always cheery, who never gets irritated with her kids, and who is 100% positive all the time? It can feel relentless.
Honestly, the images that are presented to us, of a life incessantly perfected, drive me
freakin' bananas sometimes.
Can't we just be real?
Can't we admit that sometimes life's circumstances are sad and frustrating, that we feel crappy, or that our kids are annoying us today? Without feeling guilty?
When are we enough? We don't have to be positive every second of our days.
Since I'm a person who coaches mamas, sometimes I feel a pressure to have it all figured out. I know that this story comes from our cultural milieu, but still it's there.
I'm sure you feel it too -- the pressure to have it all together, to have ideal relationships, to make six figures, and to look great while you're doing it too. It's exhausting and it keeps us from fully accepting our whole humanity.
The truth is this: we all suffer.
We all have crappy hormonal days. We get frustrated and angry. Let's be real, folks.
Life is beautiful...and really hard. Parenting is wonderful...and frustrating!
Life continues to show us that we are mistake-making human beings. And regardless of the messages of the relentlessly positive coaches out there, I say it's okay for us to be imperfect. It's okay to be good-enough.
My mindfulness practice has not made me a perfect human being. It has reduced my suffering by an enormous amount, yes. But I still have sad days when my confidence and motivation take a hit. I'm still working on taking care of my frustration in better ways, meaning that sometimes I screw up.
Mindfulness practice isn't a miracle cure? No. But it does help. A lot.
What practicing mindfulness over the long term does for me is this: I still feel those crappy feelings, but I recover from them more quickly. I don't believe my own brain's stories as fully as I used to.
Mindfulness gives me that tiny bit of space to suffer less and bounce back sooner.
It doesn't make me superwoman with six figures, but it helps me get the perspective to realize that I am enough as I am.
I want to share with you this opening paragraph from Wayne Muller's book, A Life of Being, Having, And Doing Enough:
We have forgotten what enough feels like.
We live in a world seduced by its own unlimited potential. We are driven by a presumptive grandiosity that any economic, social, or political limitations can seemly be overcome with more speed or technology. But for us, as human beings, our limitations remain constant, eternal, fully intact. Rather than feeling large and omnipotent, our own very limited, human days are likely to feel more cramped, overgrown, and choked by impossible responsibilities. At worst, we feel powerless; no matter how strong our hearts, or how good or kind our intentions, each day the finish line seems farther away, the bar keeps rising, nothing is ever finished, nothing ever good enough. So we work and add and never stop, never back away, never feel complete, and we despair over ever finding comfort, relief, or sanctuary.
Do you feel like you are not enough? Do you add an extra dose of guilt on yourself for feeling badly? Start the conversation in the comments. Let's figure this out together.