Let’s face it – we’re all imperfect in some way, shape or form. Perfectly flawed if you will.

Everyone of us has a back story that has overtones of guilt, shame, happiness, joy and love.

Many of them intertwined…as you’d expect! 🙂

There have been times in my life where guilt and shame have been overpowering…

But I also realised, perhaps with the passing of years that your past doesn’t define you unless you let it.

Now, I don’t want you to think that by just ignoring these deep seated feelings everything is better. Let’s be clear – its not!

No, those deep feelings continue to surface and be a present in my life but I also believe that you have the ability to determine what defines you as a human being.

I’m not afraid to tell you that I’ve had years of counselling to help me overcome events from my childhood.

I watched a TedTalk with Brené Brown whose topic was “Listening to Shame”. I’ve added it below as I thought it was an incredibly powerful piece that really resonated with me personally.

A good watch if nothing else…

For shame to flourish you need secrecy, silence and judgement. There’s an inconvenience to shame which makes it difficult to tackle, talk about and listen to.

I’ve learned over the years that being vulnerable and showing my emotions is okay. It’s taken almost my entire life to have this realisation…

Growing up in rural Australia and being vulnerable were totally incompatible . Totally frowned upon and a sign of complete weakness.

Yep…imperfect!

When mum died in 1987 everything turned upside down and my emotions really escaped for the first time in my life.

I wept long and hard with her loss….

With her passing my emotional flood gates opened and never seemed to shut again. Something had released inside of me that I couldn’t control or take back, I’d opened a veritable Pandora’s box of emotions.

Many past experiences began to surfaced shortly afterwards. These I’d successfully buried deep inside, and literally put in a dark corner of my brain and thrown away the key.

With counselling I was able to regain my equilibrium and resume a somewhat normal existence, albeit my emotions held in check by the barest of margins.

Since then my tears have always been close at hand…and still are to this day.

Everything seemed to flood out…whether I liked it or not. Yeah super fun! How do you like me now? 🙂

After dad died in February 2011 the feelings of loss resurfaced once again and even more overpowering this time around.

It seemed that everything had dissolved with his passing and I was back to square one. What struck me now was the overpowering feeling that I was now an orphan. With no parental anchor, nor family home to call my own – I was alone.

I felt adrift in every sense of the word…

As I sit here now writing I realize I’m not alone and that many of you may have gone through similar life changing events. My advice is to embrace these sometimes uncomfortable feelings.

In my mind vulnerability sets you free and is an amazing antidote to guilt and shame.

Yes, my imperfect self on display for all and sundry!

What does being imperfect really mean?

Allowing others to see you, the real you…warts and all.

For the vast majority of us (me included by the way) we always want to portray ourselves as having the perfect life. You only really show the good stuff that you think people will want to see.

The reality is that sometimes it can be far different.

Indeed it’s human nature to put our best selves forward, but I’ve also realized that we have to be true to ourselves no matter what.

Deep down my weekly essay is a way of opening myself up. Exposing many of my inner thoughts, passions and the ebbs and flows of life. Even the most difficult topics to broach.

Imperfections are like battle scars, they add depth and character especially when coupled with your authentic self.

As dad would have said “the genuine article”.

I guess my point is if there is one piece of advice I can pass on is – just be you…

The people that love you unconditionally will always be there for you and will embrace your imperfections and love you just the same no matter what.

Is that the real you peeking out? 🙂

Until next week.

Ciao!