I no longer have to let fear control me. I can feel it in my body; tight chest, tense muscles, shivery coldness inside and out. To me it feels like tin or an itchiness that also hurts. It is not a feeling I like. It comes so often that I am rather used to it. I know it is just a feeling that threatens but does not have any real power.
I can choose to walk right through fear and I know I will come out on the other side and be fine. I know because I keep doing it. I do the things it says not to do and little by little facing fear is easier. Now when I get that awful fear feeling or start to panic I breathe and tell my body, “You don’t have to keep being afraid like this. It isn’t working anyway and you can see that it doesn’t stop me from doing what I want. Let’s just let it go, then, alright?”
Fear seems to be having a panicked fit about all this because it is coming on so strong lately. I feel afraid a lot. The difference is that it doesn’t control my actions. I don’t believe in it’s power anymore. So, pretty soon it is going to ease up. Until then, I’m just not taking it seriously. There are too many wonderful things I want to do today!
So our walls were just covered in smudge and grime and kid’s finger prints. It was time to paint! That taupe color covered the stains beautifully… so fresh and clean! It is like magic. As I got in closer with the paint brush I noticed how dirty the baseboards were especially in contrast with the new paint. There was dog hair and sticky brown runny drippy stains and dirt and grime. It really started to bother me. I had to get the baseboards painted too. Why hadn’t I thought of the baseboards? Before I knew it I was so focused on the base boards that I no longer saw the fresh walls. That’s when it hit me about perfectionism.
It’s not perfectionistic to notice the baseboards in contrast with the fresh paint. It’s perfectly natural to notice and plan to paint the baseboards. The problem with perfectionism is when I can no longer see what is already there and appreciate that. Instead I become fixated on what needs to be improved. There has to be more! It has to be better for me to relax.
I can put those same demands on my self as well. I have to be more! I’m not enough! But what if I am enough just like this? What if I’m enough even with messy hair and indigestion? It’s kind of wonderfully radical to think this way. To just allow Sydney to be enough and to be perfectly beautiful exactly like this. That feels awesome.
I decided to forget the baseboards and focus on how great the walls look over all. My house sparkles! We had company last night and lit a fire and feasted and enjoyed one another’s company. I was able to let go of the baseboards and enjoy the evening.
Melody Beattie on Self-Value
We have a real life of our own. Yes, we do.
That empty feeling, that sense that everyone except us has a life – an important life, a valuable life, a better life – is a remnant from the past. It is also a self-defeating belief that is inaccurate.
We are real. So is our life. Jump into, and we’ll see.
Today, I will live my life and treasure it as mine.
Taken from The Language of Letting Go, Daily Meditations on Codepencency