The Grace To Be Yourself

Judging by the virtual cobwebs, you can rest assured that being myself includes a lack of consistency in many areas, including keeping current on this blog. This year has had my energy ebbing and flowing like the tides, sadly without the timing and regularity. Maybe I need my own moon to control it, but presently it’s solely under the influence of inspiration.

In the past I would have kernels of ideas that would pop into my brain, and I had the time and wherewithal to stay on topic, add oil, and shimmy the pan back and forth until I had everything looking all white and fluffy and ready to add a buttery topping of words to share the idea.

Now when the golden seed breaks its husk, I’ll occasionally give it enough attention to suss it out in a Twitter post or a meme if I want to make it look pretty. Mostly, however, the remaining kernels are relegated to the skillet where they burn to a crisp without the grease to tease them into awakening, and they end up in my mind’s trash can, never to be heard from again.

A momentary thought lingered today though and having the proper amount of free time and energy made me want to sit down and give it the attention it deserved and cook it to completion, so here we go.

In a conversation earlier today I realized someone I knew was going through a life struggle that I had been totally oblivious to. Whether it was my poor self-esteem or a dash of narcissism that made me turn this realization into an indictment against myself is better left to the psychologists of the world to decide, but that’s exactly what I did.

I instantly thought of all of the examples of how I am a bad friend. I suck because I rarely, if ever, check in just to see how things are going. I don’t send cards or even texts unless it’s a response to one I’ve received. I flit in and out of people’s lives when it works for me or when they step into my line of sight and say, “Hey, remember me? We’re friends. Or at least I thought we were.” (In truth, they are rarely that blunt, even though I’m often blunt with them. They tend to be much kinder than I feel I deserve.)

As I started down this path of self-flagellation, I was met with a rare signpost of grace. It happens that just last night I was treated to a reading with an astrologist. It was my first professional reading and actually only came about because I won it as a door prize at a recent expo I attended. Apparently God, or the universe, or the spirit of my best friend felt I needed to dig a little deeper into who I am and why I do what I do. I’m betting on God or Fairy, because both of them are keenly aware of what a cheapskate I am and that it would have to be free for me to pursue it.

Anyway, during the reading I was freaked out more than once about how dead on accurate the assessment of my personality was. While I’m an Aries, I’m a highly atypical one and many of the characteristics attributed to them never felt like they applied to me. As we went through my chart it became abundantly clear why. Apparently for many of the traits I’m supposed to have, I have some ruling planet in a random house opposing those yearnings, basically creating a constant struggle within myself about dang near everything.

When the astrologist told me I had a tendency to overthink things, I was unable to suppress the, “Duh,” that bubbled up and out. It’s clearly audible on the recording she sent of the session, and I laughed when I listened because it was bubbling up again upon playback. That impulse to analyze everything half to death when tied to my perfectionist habits is part of why I’m so easily inclined to beating myself up. I want the whole world to be better and happy, but I can only really change my own actions. So I pick them apart, file the rough edges, and go with the improved version until it falls short somewhere. Lather, rinse, repeat. Over…and over…and over.

What made this time different was a gift I was given during my reading. The woman chose words that instantly resonated with me, and one of them was “talents.” I’ve always attached that word to a tangible skill or art form. The way she used it, though, was in reference to the strength of a personality trait, and we all have them, but they aren’t all the same.

I have a gift, or so I’ve been told, for compassion, along with the ability to listen to the details of situation and pick out the primary needs so I can diagnose the steps to improve the situation or at least make it feel conquerable. It’s aligned with the early steps of healing a pain someone is going through. I can’t always fix it, but I can often bring peace and encouragement. That’s my talent. That’s a gift I have that I can share with everyone; from the people I love all of the way on out to total strangers.

Knowing what your strengths are, and conversely what your weaknesses are, frees you up to use your strengths to their fullest and best purposes. So while it may be a fact that I’m not the greatest at checking in or being constantly at hand, I now know that I am present for the parts I am good at.

Giving myself the grace to be me is going to open up whole new avenues both mentally and spiritually. I no longer need to be everything to everyone. Just being who I was made to be in this world is enough. And what that means for you who are reading, is that you are enough also.

So go out and focus on what you’re good at. Expound upon your best traits and offer those to the world around you. Leave the things you don’t excel at in the hands of those who master them. I think if we all do that, we can work together to build the world of our dreams.

Much love to you all. Thanks for reading.

Published by Jen B. @JenBennsJourney

Full time housewife, mom, & grandma. Learning to manage depression and anxiety by talking about them and other things along the path.

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