I was inspired by a recent post my friend Renee wrote about seeing the edge of her personal growth in her writing and the books she reads. I was in the midst of a funky week when I read it so the idea of "my edge" got hooked in my craw and didn't budge.
Because I was feeling my edge, I just hadn't recognized it as such.
Like Renee's my edge is tied to my writing. But it's also tied to how I respond to how you respond to my writing. (Convoluted? Stick with me for a minute.)
My edge. The cusp of who I am becoming. My struggles and strengths, the things I dread and the things I embrace.
Like you, I am learning and growing everyday. It's just uncomfortable sometimes so I don't always see the benefits those struggles hold. I wish them away and invite ease to replace anxiety in those moments.
But without the discomfort that lies at "my edge" I suspect I would miss so much.
Because beneath our day-to-day existence is the stretching and growing and sometimes uncomfortable becoming that is at the core of why we're all here.
Sometimes I'd love to trade in my demons (and all the discomfort they bring) for a different lot. But when I look closely at the ones I have, they look familiar. I recognize in my demons the same essence that I see in my gifts.
Indeed, they mirror each other so closely that I can't tell one from the other. So wishing away my demons would in fact be wishing away my gifts in the same breath.
What has come up is my sensitivity again (What else?) and the struggles I feel when I face even the slightest criticism. Because of the nature of my life and work, that usually comes in the form of comments on thoughts I have shared through blogging - here and elsewhere. And it's hard for me. Ridiculously so.
But if my gift and my Achilles' heal are the same trait, maybe I can find a way to embrace and accept all of me.
So at my edge today is self-love and acceptance.
It isn't about hardening my shell or becoming someone I am not. As a well-meaning professor suggested a lifetime ago, "Rachel, you've got to grow a thicker skin!" I believed him then. But today? I'm thinking maybe not.
Because I've been swimming against that current for my whole life and I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere.
I am thinking instead about recognizing and accepting myself, my strengths and weaknesses and allowing it all to be. Allowing me to be me, without wishing to shift one piece to make life more easy and comfortable. And while I do I will surely be evolving, changing, growing just the same - but without the pressure on becoming someone I am not.
Would you benefit from a dose of self-love and acceptance?
I think we all would. To stop wishing we were something we are not, to stop comparing ourselves, criticizing ourselves, or questioning ourselves. To stop hating those who have what we do not, or hating ourselves for who we are or how we tick.To see our "gifts" and our "demons" and embrace them without these labels. To see them simply as a part of us without judgement.
So while some of my traits make me smile and other parts make my stomach do a flip when they surface, I will try to embrace both. Because it's a bit of a package deal, isn't it? I can't be sensitive (which makes me me) and let criticism roll off of my back like nothing.
They are the same trait, just different moments. And slowly, slowly, I am learning how to love and embrace all of me.
What about you? Do you see the reflection of your gifts in your struggles? What do you wrestle with that you could learn to embrace?
Wishing you the gift of self-love and acceptance in the coming days.