Chris Newcomb, M.Div.
I receive daily inspirational texts to my cell phone about recovery-related topics. I signed up to receive them because we are thinking of implementing the same technology at The Coleman Institute. I'd like to share one I received yesterday with you.
It reads, "I am perfectly imperfect, fully human, able to make mistakes, learn from them and love myself as I am." The irony is that I received this text in the middle of an activity where I was demanding a lot of myself (read: perfection) that realistically would not happen. Truth shows up in the most opportune moments, doesn't it?!?
However, what if I (and you) took that statement to heart and made it my (our) mantra today. Admitting that I am less than perfect is not a fun exercise in self-understanding. I imagine you feel the same way. However, lying to myself doesn't do me much good either! Self-knowledge, while very important, is not for the meek of heart.
If we accept our imperfection, this frees us up to a life without shame. If I have already confessed my imperfection, it is difficult for me to feel shameful when I make that inevitable mistake(s).
Having admitted my imperfection, I now make room for allowing inevitable mistakes in my life. It doesn't mean I try to make mistakes rather it just means that I know they will happen from time to time and it's not the end of the world.
Admitting the ability to make mistakes is the first thing we do when we accept our imperfection. Unfortunately, many people stop there. We must press on and realize that our mistakes are a chance to learn something about ourselves, other people, and the greater world around us.
If we correctly learn a lesson from a mistake, there is a good chance that we will not repeat it. As a matter of fact, the more we are aware of how we make mistakes the more we might be able to predict such mistakes before they occur. How nice would that be to cut off a mistake at the pass before it occurs!
Finally, after admitting my imperfection, becoming aware of my mistakes, and learning their inherent lesson(s), I can choose to love myself in spite of those imperfections. I get to love myself regardless of my mistakes because my value is not based on my mistakes rather it comes from the very fact that I am alive as a human being before I ever try to earn my keep, so to speak.
Regardless of whether or not you suffer from addiction or alcoholism, embracing imperfection is a healing choice. Of course, for substance abusers, this is a crucial decision. Self-acceptance begins with self-awareness and self-awareness leads us to the truth that we are perfectly imperfect. Accepts is the next choice to make and then we become more settled 'in our own skin.' And for those struggling with substance, it is critical to learn to feel comfortable in your own skin because half the reason people abuse substances is because they don't feel comfortable in their own skin!
At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs. We are in the business of helping our clients realize, understand, and accept their perfect imperfection so they can be free from substance abuse. If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869). Help, hope and healing begin here!