When life gives you more than you bargained for......look for the little blessings in disguise.
I was getting ready to make coffee this morning. John was taking Lola downstairs so he could let the dogs out to potty and he yelled up at me saying....."The basement is flooded, check the dishwasher to see if it leaked again".
Ugh... don't you just hate it when something goes south the minute you get up in the morning? The issue ended up being the filter in the new fridge, yes, before the dishwasher started leaking a few weeks ago, the the fridge needed replaced along with....the dryer. Oh and by the way, yesterday the pump that helps us empty the hot tub died and this morning I noticed the hot tub is not heating, so that's another thing to look into fixing.
It's a little crazy to say this, but here it goes. I just rolled with it. All of it. I didn't freak out. Now John was ready and willing to take blame for the current disaster but I told to not to. Seriously, we spend way too much time telling ourselves how "stupid" we are when really we are just fine. That's what I told John anyways.
We have this thing inside of us that says, "You must be perfect." Well I find it a little ironic that a voice in our head gets to determine what we are supposed to be. Considering that I've learned everything in my life so far by messing up and learning from those mistakes. I'd even go so far as calling them missteps but I don't really think that is true either.
I don't want to be a person who demands perfection from my spouse. I don't want to be a person who thinks "she's got it all figured out". It's just too much pressure. I wasn't made for perfection. It would be way too daunting a task of always having to be perfect. I doubt many people would even want to hang out with me. It would send a message that they needed to be the same in order to be able to hang out. I just don't like the idea at all. I really enjoy hanging out with other people who are just as messy as me.
Our mistakes don't define us. It's the way we show up, learn, grow, ask for forgiveness, decide how to respond that make us more likable humans. I decided to give myself more credit. It's due. I've paid an awful price for all of the times I shrank in humiliation for the thoughts in my head.
While I was on my amazing Hawaii vacation a few weeks ago I had a day of struggle with the perfection monster. I call him Satan, the Devil, Lucifer...He's the one trying to tell me that I'm worthless and not worthy of relationship. Not good enough for good things, meaning I don't deserve to have good things happen in my life when I'm such a screw up. I lost it over my husband plating my food for me. Doesn't that sound insane? We had just gotten back from this little Arepa take out place and I was so looking forward to eating our meal. But I had a ton of background noise playing in my head. Throw in some wonderful hormones that decided to throw a period party after not being present for a few months and I was a little testy about someone else touching my food. Really, John makes food for me all the time and some really amazing beverages and for some reason I chose that moment to explode.
That's when the enemy loves to dive right in. I was embarrassed by my behavior. I was not surprised by the flow of thoughts that started playing on a loop. I went out on the lanai (I just love how patio or porch sounds when you are in Hawaii) and I had a conversation with my brain. "You are so stupid, you ruin everything, you've upset your husband who takes you on amazing vacations. You ruined that wonderful meal. No one wants to eat and it's going to get cold. You hurt people. You are not worthy of a relationship. Your body has betrayed you with the surprise visit from Auntie Flow. You have no excuse for your blow up. You should just keep quiet and not speak. How dare you hurt John with your words and actions. Shame on you".
I watched the flow of thoughts come in and I decided to shut it down. Not in the way of stuffing it and ignoring it. I decided to wrestle with it. I call it wrestling in the spirit. I decided to do battle with the enemy.
First I needed to speak love and truth over the loop. I am not broken. I am not going to be ashamed for losing it. I am a person who makes mistakes. I am the woman who allows myself and others to make mistakes because I can learn from this. I can see where I have stumbled, where I've gone a little unconscious to what is going on around me. This is a spiritual battle, not a me verses him battle. John gets to be upset for what and how I said words to him. It is o.k. for other people to be upset and have their feelings wounded. I get to make mistakes, it doesn't make me an evil person. I get to love myself here, when my own words feel like the enemy. I don't need to continue to say sorry and beat myself up.
I did not ruin anything. I don't have that kind of power. I can love myself here. I can calm myself here. I can forgive myself here. I can move on from here.
I gave myself some time, boy did I need it. I went back inside and took a nap. I got up later and asked John if he'd like to go outside and watch the sunset with me. He passed, he was still working through his own feelings and I told myself that he was allowed time and space to recover.
You see, I like to think I'm a calm and kind person most of the time. I don't think I need to be perfect. But it's interesting what things the enemy uses when we are unaware because when I blew it, I went to blame and beat down instantly. I don't want to do that, but it happens. So instead of trying to be perfect even when I blow it, I'm offering myself more grace and love and kindness.
John was upset this morning because when he took the filter out of the fridge last night to replace it, it squirted water all over, so he just put the old filter back in as fast as he could and shut the door. Neither one of us knew that we needed to shut the water off before replacing the filter. Seriously, that takes the both of us pulling the heavy little appliance out from the wall, sliding it back, changing the filter and then pulling it out again to turn the water back on. Who designed a fridge with all those steps for changing a water filter. He was upset that the water caused damage to the floor, the basement ceiling and the basement carpet. And he blamed himself. I told him that there is no blame for the unknown. We have never had this type of fridge before. It's so pretty and compact, who would have thought that they needed so many steps to change a filter.
So this little blog post today is just a lesson to you, a reminder that no one is perfect, read the instructions better before changing the filter in the fridge and let go of thinking you have to be perfect, and when you are not so perfect, it is not a requirement to beat yourself up. NO! What is required is love and grace. We have a house that has things that will always need to be fixed or replaced. It's way better to let go of perfectionism and embrace what can be learned from the crazy thing called life.