I struggle with something.
You don’t know me yet, but I figured I might as well get that out there. Yup, that’s right: I am not a perfect person – so, don’t be getting any ideas.
When the lovely ladies at Wild, Wild Beauty asked me to guest post, I was honored and thrilled, while my mind instantly began to whirl over what I could possibly write about. Truth be told, I came up with quite a few possibilities – none of them really feeling right – until, after a lot of procrastination and scrapped projects, I finally gave up and decided upon that most personal to me.
You see, while most people have skeletons in their closet, I have a monster in mine that likes to come out every now and then to see what fun he can have with me that day.
His name is Expectations.
He comes in all shapes and sizes – a small little disappointment there, a massive pedestal to live up to over here…
Often, he’ll change his face just to keep me on my toes – taking the form of my family, the comments from that friend on Facebook, a look from my husband, or even the whisper in my own head.
Most of the time he’s dressed beautifully – something to aspire to. A good thing. A thing to desire and work towards. Something you tell yourself you deserve. But in the end, the result is always, always the same. Hell, we even laugh over it in our free time, with all those “Expectation Vs. Reality” memes and video. The simple truth is, the reality is always going to be a disappointment compared to the expectation – no matter how small.
So why do I keep opening that closet door?
Everywhere I look in my life he’s there. In my marriage. In the way cancer always seems to get the last laugh over my body. In who I used to be. In who I am now. In who I think I should be. Everywhere I look in my life, Expectation is taunting me, degrading me, and reminding me of just how much of a failure I really am.
Well, (pardon the language) but I call “Bulls***”!
Spoiler alert: it’s okay to not be perfect, and even though we spend so much time and energy trying to convince people otherwise, no one ever is! All those world-travelers, effortlessly thin models, successful entrepreneurs, loving wives, and perfectly-sane-always-has-a-clean-house-takes-her-kids-to-after-school-activities-looks-like-a-movie-star-eats-organicly-and-still-has-energy-for-sex-at-night moms you see everywhere on social media, are in reality just like you and me.
AKA: Faulty, Broken, Slightly Insane Human Beings.
Today’s culture is pretty good about constantly reminding us that we all have this perfect standard to live up to; but at the end of the day, we all make mistakes, we all ugly cry, and we all love to binge out to sugar and Netflix every now and then.
A friend recently told me that only young, immature trees still cling to their leaves in the winter, wasting precious energy on keeping them there, instead of letting what’s dead fall to the ground to better equip themselves for the next season of life. And though it’s taken me this long, with Jesus’ help, I think I’m finally ready to let the expectations put on me by others and myself – either real or imagined – fall away.
The result has been that for once, after two long years of living in silent, extreme depression, I am finally learning to love Me. To find joy in the days when my health gives out. To drop the impossibly high standard others have erected over myself and my marriage – choosing rather to live our lives the way we want. To realize that I am not a failure if I wasn’t as productive, or as kind, or as patient, or as in-shape as I wanted to be that day. To stop letting my disease control me and become a convenient scapegoat.
The result has been freedom. Joy. Peace.
So, oh, dear friends! Whatever you feel like you need to be more of, whatever sorrows or past experiences now seem to define you, whatever pedestal others have put you on, whatever way you think you’ve failed today… Just let it go. You don’t have to let the fear, and the shame, and the weight of it control you.
Because who you are now? Wild, wild, beautiful You? You are so much more than perfect. To be wild means to be unpredictable. To be crazy, and insane, and different, and free, and untamed – and as everyone knows, we love that which is wild.
So, embrace your crazy. Embrace your faults. Love who you are now, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself towards achievable greatness.
I think, together, it’s time to shove Expectation back into the closet, lock the door, and let what’s dead fall.
Hey all, Carlee here, once you pick your jaw up off the floor after reading this amazing and inspiring post by our dear friend, I invite you to check out her website! If you didn't notice, Lindsey is a very talented writer, and lucky for us, is putting her talent to good use. Hop on over to Fictionally Free to see more of her work and keep her in mind for your future writing projects --> https://fictionallyfree.com