I recently heard Deepak Chopra during a 30 second interview get asked if he regrets anything in his life. His response got me thinking…
I have experienced my share of shame about what hasn’t worked in my life. Shame about being imperfect. More specifically, shame about being too much, too big, too passionate, too sensitive.
Still, I am growing to be at peace with who I am. I’ve begun a journey of embracing my imperfections that have brought me pain and shame.
I have a longing to connect with other women and mothers, to promote healthy families and communities, to teach, to facilitate, to coach, to heal, to support… I struggle to answer: How will these desires manifest in the world? How can I create the life I envision?
I have experienced many changes since I originally embarked on this journey to fashion a life with meaning, intention, and wisdom.
What I thought was sure to fix me or heal me for good turned out to be one step in a long process.
When I look back at my initial zeal and drive to think outside the box and do something different with my life I am filled with awe.
First, I asked for extension of my maternity leave and was denied. Then, I decided to leave my tenure track faculty position to stay at home with my two children. Soon after, I signed up for a spiritual l healing program– a four year commitment, a life coaching course– a one year commitment, a birth doula training and dance fitness certification. Whew! And all this while my daughter was about 7 months and my son just turning 2 yrs.
In reflecting on how crazy committed and driven I was, I acknowledge being motivated by intense heartache, disappointment, and shame. Ultimately, this was also a desire to be freer, to be happier.
Along the way, I have burned some bridges, disappointed some folks, been unavailable, and too busy. This has taught me to give myself permission to be wrong and permission to fail. It has taught me to learn to forgive myself for being imperfect and to forgive others for not “getting me”.
Part of what I am left with is gratitude for learning to more fully embrace myself. Gratitude for the opportunity to do some more growing up.
For instance, I don’t necessarily recommend having two babies within two years. Yet I am deeply grateful to be the mother of these two spitfires. Having and raising them has often been an exhausting and confusing whirlwind. The gifts they have brought to my life are innumerable.
Do I regret anything ? On most days, no, I don’t regret a thing. I’m making peace with my shame about being too much, biting off more than I can chew, being a compulsive, over-achiever, a restless, angst ridden, frazzled mom of two. And I’m making more space to be my wise, passionate, authentic self.
In accepting and embracing all parts of myself I am happier and more free.
Are you letting shame hold you back from being your authentic, imperfect self? Dare to do something different– to risk being happier and more free.