Many years ago, while browsing through the Self-Help section of my favourite bookstore, I thought that if I ever wrote one of those things, I’d call it “Relax. You’re Fine. Just the Way You Are.”
Inside would be blank…
And then someone invented blogging, so I did that instead.
As I look around this world of ours, I am always amazed and saddened by how dissatisfied we are with ourselves. How we enact Get Tough policies against ourselves on an almost daily basis, thinking we need to lose more weight, get more organized, be more successful. We think we need to become perfect when, really? There’s nothing wrong with who we are!
We are, all of us, miraculous.
Throbbing with life.
Every single one of us is completely unique. Since the dawn of time, there has never been anyone quite like you. And there will never be another you, ever again.
I say, let that shine and to hell with those last ten pounds!
As a Reiki Practitioner, I get to touch people. And the variety of proportions of people is amazing. Upper arm to lower, arms to legs, left side to right, no one matches. No one is “in proportion”. We are all ourselves – a unique and miraculous measure of humanity.
And in the face of that, notions of correctness and perfection go right out the window.
Perfection and definitions of perfection are an arrogant and frightened attempt to corral the wild wonderfulness of life into something manageable.
Give it up!
Let the wildness and the wonder of it wash over you. Wallow in it. Drink it up and understand that perfection is everywhere. Yes, even in you!
Whether you believe that humanity evolved over time or that we each come straight from the hand of God, isn’t it strange, after your Mother’s been through 97 hours of labour to have you, to then look at her and all the ancestors who formed you and say, “No. It’s OK. I can fix this!”
It’s like looking at a sunset and telling it to try a little less orange next time. Or telling a robin that his song is too high-pitched. Or telling a flower that it needs to drop a few petals.
YOU DON’T NEED FIXING!
There are so many better things you can do with your time, your limited, once in all eternity time on this earth.
This is your trip of a lifetime. Do you seriously want to spend it whipping yourself into shape? Forcing yourself up that ladder of success? Feeling bad about yourself?
There are so many more things to see and experience. Stuff to try. Trouble to get into.
Big crazy projects to launch, just to see where they go.
Friends to discover and cherish.
There are babies to snuggle.
Books to read and wine to drink.
Ideas to follow down strange and wonderful tangents for no productive reason, but because they’re interesting.
There are old people to learn from and love (and to mourn when they’re gone).
And dinners to share, during which you tell the stories of the people you’ve known and the ideas you’ve had.
I’m not saying to never make improvements or to let everything slide – humanity just isn’t built that way.
Lord knows, I’m a huge improver! I like to keep my house on the cleaner and tidier end of the spectrum. It suits me.
Eating healthy food and getting enough sleep lets me function better so that I can really enjoy the big adventures when they come along.
And, when I’m out walking my dog, I have been known to break into the occasional light run. It feels good and Ruffles loves it.
So jog if you want to. Cut out the junk food if it makes you feel better. Give to a good cause if you really believe in it.
But please, do these things because they bring you joy, because they’re part of the wonderful banquet of life and not because you think you’re loathesome. Because you’re not.
Believe me. You can relax. Because you’re fine. You are SO fine.
Just the way you are.
I’d like to switch your voice for the voice inside my head. K?
Sure, sweetie! Any time.
Ahhhhh. I need to read this on a daily basis. Better yet…I’ll watch the video every day (when it comes out!)
And I’ve gotta tell ya. I get a little giggle everytime I think about “break into a light jog…” I don’t know why. It just tickles my funny bone.
Barb. YOU are one of the best things to ever happen to me! Thank you!!!
And thank you right back!
Wonderful, wise, and needed. Thank you, Barb!
Thanks Beverley. And thanks for the suggestion of posting it – thought hadn’t even occured to me!
oh my god… I am speechless (hard to believe, right?). I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. It feels so dang good to be OK – to be TOLD I’m OK.
“And there will never be another you, ever again. I say, let that shine and to hell with those last ten pounds!”
and then there was this…
“It’s like looking at a sunset and telling it to try a little less orange next time. Or telling a robin that his song is too high-pitched. Or telling flower that it needs to drop a few petals.”
There’s no need to say more. You have touched my heart, Barb.
Thanks Patti. The response has been amazing. It was sooo moving to watch the audience response as I spoke – people who had maybe never been told these things before sitting on the edge of their seats to hear it.
I am humbled by the whole experience. Humbled and moved…
okay if i share this with my colleagues ?
the old one.
Never mind. I just did.
It was such an honour to be there in the audience, listening to your wisdom & wit. I thought … how cool is that – I KNOW that wise and humble woman. I’m so glad that we got to be friends.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed to hear this, and I needed to share this. Mostly, I needed to hear this.
Wow. Just wow. You did it again. Spine tingling, eye fizzing, nail on the head stuff. I heart you! xx
Thank you Barb…cannot wait until I see the video!!!
I’m so late to the party!! Congratulations barb on speaking to an audience (terrifying to me!) and using just the words I needed to hear today!
So sorry I missed this Barb, but so beautifully stated…We are perfect just the way we are. Also a Reiki practitoner touch is the best gift you can give someone.
Look forward to meeting you and have an awesome day.
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Hello Barb, What can I say? I wouldn’t have said it better!
Bravo! Lots of love from the four of us out west!
I do like what you say but can you please say it with less of a messianic touch? I find it really weird and a little scary how the herd instinct shepherds people into following others, instead of listening to themselves. Enabling others is one thing, getting people following another human being because they perceive that they themselves are not up to the job is another. Then people come to depend on you and perceive you as some kind of uber human with super powers who is going to save them. I can’t help but feel this feeds the ego (yours) in an unhealthy way. While wishing to help people, it can ultimately have the opposite effect of them needing you to tell them what is OK and what is not. No one person has the answers; unfortunately if you act as if you do, people will choose to believe that you do – it’s easier that way. This is ultimately dis-enabling people and not at all what you probably want. This is a huge responsibility and one that I personally believe is harmful. I DO agree with what you say but please be careful how you say it.
just found your blog, so i’m a little bit late in posting. but thank you. your words are what i needed to hear this evening.
Thanks for letting me know Jen, I’m so glad you found my words helpful.
Barb; Thanks for restarting your Blog. I am really enjoying your weekly additions. This one , Relax you’re just fine, really hit me. I appreciate permission to be and love myself. Thanks. This has inspired me to accept who I am and grow from there. Your words are powerful.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Sue. I’m so glad you like it here!
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Sweet Barb – I’ve just read through your brilliant, life-affirming, totally charming Manifesto. Knowing you as I do, the writing takes on special significance.
I’ve just printed out a copy of the post (I hope you don’t mind), and shall keep it
close at hand in my work space – for those days when I require either inspiration,
or a good swift kick in the ass.
You shall always be my Forever #2 Barb – and I love you!! M xo
That’s so lovely, Marek. Thank you! You’ve made my heart sing!