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Embrace Imperfection

June 2, 2012

Greetings from London, my favorite place in the world.

Funny thing.  Being in your favorite place does not allow one to be provided exemption from the feelings, emotions and sometimes raw defects of character that plague the normal human (and run in abundance when fear is in session.)

I arrived in London early in the week fresh off an intense ride in the hamster wheel for what seemed like months.  I worked 11-16 hour days relentlessly and before the flight had left for the break I had done a run of 12 consecutive days and jumped immediately into a conference and weekend of activities for the three days following.

I am stubborn.  I am a control freak and the underlying issue is that I am absolutely afraid of not being relevant without all the activity.

When I arrived in London I found myself having moved very quickly from 150 mph to a swift and painful 0.  I crashed.  I burned.  I melted.

Here’s the problem with that scenario:  I am strong.  I work a good program, I sponsor guys, I read and write daily.  I am constantly in check of my own behavior and I am the first to amend a problem should I have made it.  Over many years I have created a beautiful habit of stopping, smiling and breathing before I react to people, situations and things.

Granted this does not always happen, but this is where we get to the part about being human… or am I simply that hamster after all?  When I crashed and burned I found myself isolated and very much alone.  I am in a city of millions, but it is not my home and I don’t think I could have felt any further away from a safety net than I did.

Within fear it is a natural state to run and hide.  This was my first inclination.  I wanted to curl up in a fetal position and continue spinning the tales of horror and doom because that is what felt real.  Honestly, unless you are an alcoholic, this sort of thinking and situation is going to sound exaggerated and ridiculously simple to handle.  If you are an alcoholic you will be nodding your head in agreement that these places can paralyze us.  Fear is the enemy of self esteem and self worth.  Here I was in my favorite place in the world and I was, in a sense, dying.

Stop.  Smile.  Breathe.  Ok, sometimes it is necessary to forget about the smile, but stopping and breathing is vital.  What I did this week was communicate.  I asked for help.  I shared how I felt.  I spoke to my fears even though it fed into my own description of worthlessness and weakness creating a temporary vicious cycle.  I had to share because I cannot hold this inside of me without causing damage.  People like me live with lifetimes of damage and our goal through work and service is daily maintenance.

I was reminded that I am not, nor never will be perfect.  I was told to embrace the imperfection and remember that I am loved for who I am and all its intentions.  This was comforting and began a new cycle of growth and learning.  I am still raw because fear must be met, addressed and managed.  It is not simply gone.  It does not simply stop. What has to continue to happen is a recognition of my aforementioned tendencies that push me to make the choices I do about the hamster wheel and the need to control my world so closely.  If I am ever half-way to that goal I will have accomplished so much more than I would without the support and awareness I am offered through the people I have in my life.

While I remain in London I must continue to Stop.  Smile.  Breathe.

While I live each day I will do the same.

As I find the need to share this with whomever might want to listen I will send it out to the cosmos in this manner.

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4 Comments
  1. wscholes permalink

    It’s a funny thing how feeling so lost sometimes leads us to finding ourselves again…and again… and again. Your post is a reminder to me to make sure I do indeed stop and breathe. Thanks mate.

  2. How lucky you are to be able to enter a place of serenity in the hustle and bustle of everyday life..London has always been your soft place to fall..you can stop, smile and breathe during celebrations is beyond me…the core of everything you are is your 20 years of sobriety and your partners support…it makes you whole…I am so glad you will share this on your blog

    • Lynda Labine permalink

      For some reason my reply posted without my name…something tells me you will recognize me..;)

  3. Kevin permalink

    Cousin you are perfect! Perfect for who you are my man! Love you cousin! We must hang soon when you get back!

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