One Holy Imperfect Life

This is my life, now…

This is my life, now…

I don’t say this in a sarcastic tone, or as cynical commentary. I don’t say it with shrugged shoulders or with a self-deprecating chuckle.

I say it as a mantra.

When I utter it quietly to myself, it grounds me instantly. It puts me in my body with my feet on the earth, and it anchors me to what is real, what is here, and what is now.

This mantra connects me to the raw, often messy reality of my life — not from a place of judgment, but from a place of responsibility.

Judgment keeps me floating around somewhere above my life, never touching down for fear that I won’t be landing in the right place. Or of taking real ownership over wherever I find myself.

Up there, there is no power. There is only waiting. Waiting for something to click into place. For the stars to align. Or for something, usually outside of myself, to tell me what to do or where to go. This of course, is always fleeting.

It was my therapist who sparked this reflection. He asked if I ever feel like I am waiting for my life to start. That somehow the experiences I have had up until this point don’t count, but that once I arrive at some undefined destination, they will.

This question rang through me like a bell, tolling previously unseen and unnamed parts of myself.

To be honest, I couldn’t believe a belief like this was living inside of me. How could I not have been aware of this, with all the self work and inquiry I have done?

But I suppose this is the nature of the unconscious and of the shadow. It’s contents are hidden.

Until they’re not.

I used to be so afraid of falling off my path. It’s an existential fear, really. It’s a fear of making a mistake or of being wrong — and that through some sliding-door act of fate, I will lose my trail and head in the wrong direction.

But when I untangle these knots of fear and anxiety and follow them to their root, I find something old, tired, and familiar. There, hidden in plain sight, are the tendrils of my old friends, perfectionism and self-doubt

With this insight, I see so clearly that “my path” is actually a stand-in for my own idealized perfect life. It’s a fantasy where I move with perfect grace, remain perfectly in tune, and as a result, always land right where I am “supposed” to.

But this is not real. In real life, we waver. We lose our way. And sometimes we even lose ourselves. 

These are the moments though that infuse our life with a deep potency and sense of meaning. This is where we learn, grow, and heal. And while these are usually the most painful and disorienting life experiences, they are often the most beautiful too… If we have the eyes to see it.

When I am too busy worrying if I’m on the “path,” I miss it all. 

Enter the mantra….

This is my life, now.

This is my life, now.

And this is where everything changes.

Suddenly I can feel the sacredness of the moment, no matter how messy and imperfect that moment is.

Suddenly, I become filled with a sense of grounded and empowered presence that says, “This is where I am, and where I am matters.” Even if it doesn’t seem like it on the surface.

Suddenly, I am rooted even when I am scared. I feel strong even when I don’t know what to do next.

It is as if I grow roots into the messiness itself. And here, I find power.

In this place, the holiness and realness of my life are always inseparable, and I know deep in my bones that there is nothing I could ever do to take me off my path.

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