Thursday, December 6, 2012

12 Steps to Perfection

If it were that easy, we would have all been made perfect as toddlers...on our 12th step.

Except I have a toddler.  He is pretty sure footed now at 2 years old, but even this morning, he fell down a few stairs and bonked his melon, leaving a not-so-pretty hematoma on his forehead.

...glad we did Christmas pictures last weekend...even if there isn't one where we're all looking at the camera at the same time.  At least there's no hematoma, right?!

I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting on Monday morning at a local church.  The ladies had already been meeting for a little over a month, so part of me felt like I was intruding.  They had built time and trust together over the previous weeks, and though I'm one to jump in with two feet, they may not be willing to fling their hearts wide open to a stranger.

I guess it is what it is.  Because I'm sticking it out...

Everyone went around, shared their name and their beef.  As my turn approached, my heart was beating out of my chest and I felt nauseous.  Usually if my heart is beating out of my chest it's God's prompting, urging me to share something He has put on my heart.  When it came to me, the leader instead had the two last girls after me share first, since they were regulars.

And then it was my turn.

When I finally shared, there was no beating.  I mean, just the regular 50-60ish that keep me alive, but I guess when I shared:

"Hi!  My name is Adrienne and I've been a closet eater since 2nd grade, having food as an idol instead of my God,"

in yet again, another public setting, it just brought it more to light, exposing my hidden behaviors, lighting the way to continued freedom from the lies of false comfort and self-gratification.

It's so interesting, this journey.

Over the past 30+ years there have been years in a row where I didn't struggle one thought or iota over this whole ordeal.  Then, ironically, in the last 10 years as I've researched and studied healthy foods and why I have digestive issues/allergies/etc, I've thought more about food: what I can or cannot have. And then I guess I've thought of it too much.

But what really busts my chops is the previous 5 years, specifically.  You see, I had a son.  And he died.  And none of this is really about food at all.  It isn't.  It's about my inability to be perfect or preform perfectly here on earth.

It's about my lifelong ingrained sickness of striving.

Kristin Armstrong says in her book, Work in Progress,
"When we try to be and do the things that are outside our true selves, we turn into strivers.  
Strivers are people who endlessly struggle for perfection and end up with far less than good enough..." 

You see, in my head, having lost a child, I should have every. single. bit. of. my. act. together.  Every day.  All day.  All the time.  Act together.

In my head, I think that was ample heartache where I shouldn't ever struggle or stumble, with that was the end all, be all lesson of life learned.  And, so, when I fall down the stairs and get a hematoma, I beat myself up and think I'm an idiot because I know how to walk, and shouldn't I have learned?!

Whereas Ryan looked straight to me, his mom and his comforter, cried in my arms, rested his head on my shoulder, shed tears because of his pain, but didn't beat himself up or think himself less because he stumbled.  He simply accepted and received my nurturing and unconditional love.

I need to learn more from my toddler.  I'm taking steps.  There will likely be more than 12 steps toward healing in my future, but they will be forward and in the right direction, pointed toward the One Who is my Father and my Comforter, my Source.  And in time, my steps will be more sure-footed, sound, firm, deeply-rooted, established in Him.

And rather than PERFECTION as the goal, I'm going to cast off that striver mentality and give it my all.  My best.  I'm going to give my whole heart to God and hope it is good enough.

"Good enough means being able to accept who and where we are with grace and gratitude and being content with ourselves as works in progress...We know we can't make it on our own or by using our old methods, so we go to the Source." - Kristin Armstrong