About nine years ago, a friend gifted me with a copy of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown and it planted a seed that would grow, flourish, and bear fruit throughout the past decade of my life.
It was this tiny seed, tended and watered, that helped me heal from my feeling of never being enough and that essentially helped form the pillars of my work in helping messy humans like myself show up fully to their lives – with joy and on purpose – in every season: self-awareness, self-compassion, and imperfect action.
How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves. — Brené Brown
Not only are we all messy and imperfect as humans but we also live in an incredibly messy world. There’s plenty of joy, beauty, and pleasure to be mined in every season of life but sometimes the hard, the overwhelming, and the ugly can overwhelm us and threaten to steal our joy, rock our peace, and consume our attention. Or worse, it can make us believe that our very worth is dependant upon our productivity, a life that runs smoothly, or upon never struggling – even though we’re fully human.
I choose to show up to my life wholeheartedly, fully engaged and present in every season. This is hard work but I choose to witness my strength, own my struggle, tell the truth about it all and love myself well as I dive heart-first into the adventure of life.
Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.— Brené Brown
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I’ve gathered up posts from some of my online friends who are willing to share honestly about what it looks and sounds and feels like to be a wholehearted human in a messy world. I hope this list gives you the courage to show up fully to your messy and beautiful life.
9 Posts for The Wholehearted Human in a Messy World
1. 7 Simple Truths for Being a Human in a Messy World
When you need some simple guidance to help you choose to be authentic and gentle with yourself, read this post by Erica Layne of The Life on Purpose Movement.
2. The Courage to Be Disliked
When you need to find the freedom to honour your own authenticity and quit worrying what other people expect or want from you, check out this post by Emma at Simple Slow & Lovely.
3. 200 Life-List Ideas for Women Who Want to Embrace Life
When you feel like you’re just going through the motions to get through the days and have forgotten to really LIVE, get inspired by this list of ideas for adding more joy and intention to your life by Zina Harrington at Becoming UnBusy.
4. 9 (Not So Little Things) That Are Holding You Back
When you feel weighed down by things like guilt, drama, or trying to prove yourself, learn how to say goodbye to whatever it is that is holding you back with this post by Courtney Carver at Be More with Less.
5. From Pain to Peace: How to Endure the Worst of Life
When being human in a messy world means walking through unimaginably painful seasons, be guided from pain to peace with this beautiful post by Lauren Fortenberry.
6. 5 Lessons I Learned From Overcoming the Hardest Days of My Life
When you feel discouraged by your setbacks and the feelings of self-doubt and helplessness creep in, be reminded that even in the messiness of being a human who fails or fumbles or hits a bumpy path, there is always something to hope for and live for in this article by Marc & Angel Hack Life.
7. What I Know About Grief and Hope
When you feel scared to be open about the hard things that you’ve walked through and need encouragement to share your story, read this heartbreakingly beautiful piece about loss and grief and hope from Jennifer at Simply + Fiercely.
8. Gifts of a Lifetime
When you need a poignant reminder that even the most mundane and unremarkable days are filled with remarkable gifts and moments, read this post by Heidi Barr.
9. The Kind of Person I Want to Be
In a world that can feel scary and harsh, I want to be the kind of person who keeps believing in better. Who doesn’t give up and who keeps on fighting, who isn’t too busy to lift up others. I often feel weak or afraid and like I have little to offer, but I want to be the kind of person who shows up anyway. This one is from me.
As I wrap this up, I have one word of encouragement to leave you with. You are not broken, bad, or too screwed up (no matter what your brain is telling you at the moment). You are simply a messy tangle of strength and struggle, just like the rest of us.
NOW WHAT? It’s the 10 year anniversary of one of my favourite, most personally impactful books: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. You can join me inside the Brave & Beautiful Community in January to gather with other growth-minded women in the messy middle of life.