Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m already struggling with my attempt at mindful eating throughout Lent. First, I told myself, “For Lent, I’m giving up sugar in my tea and coffee”. That lasted about 12 hours until Wednesday evening, when, at a church dinner, I instinctively (mindlessly!) added cream and sugar to my decaf brew and drank up. I was halfway through the cup before it even dawned on me. The new and improved, recovering perfectionist in me said, “No big deal. Just don’t put sugar in your black or green tea.” Thursday evening after work, I settled down in front of the TV with my usual mug of decaf black tea…filled with milk and sugar. Sigh. My inner critic rolled his eyes, but I fought back with, “Well, okay. I drink a lot of green tea, so I just won’t put honey or sugar in my green tea.” Friday evening after a lovely dinner out with my best friend, I’m recapping the day to my partner as I sip a delicious mug of green tea…with “sugar in the raw”. Doh! I forgot…AGAIN. “You’re a mess,” said my unhelpful inner critic.
“But, I’m a beautiful mess!” I countered.
How is it possible for a mess to be beautiful? Well, I’m learning about this concept through a book I’m reading called, “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli. The premise — which is written from the perspective of Christianity, but in my mind applies to all humanity — is that authentic, genuine, messy individuals are exactly the types of people who are truly living life. I like this idea…it frees me from seeking perfection and allows me to see beauty in the messiness of my life, to find wonder in my flaws, and to grow from my mistakes. Being a beautiful mess allows me to say, “Okay, so I’m not perfect” (my inner critic starts to whine), but I’m capable of learning and growing from this…even if it looks to the world like I’m taking two steps backward, followed by one step forward, while spinning in circles and flailing my arms around me. Beautiful messes certainly draw attention to themselves. I’m okay with that.
Let’s start a movement! Join me today in being a beautiful mess!
Peace, health, and joyful messiness!