yesterday when parenting my cherubs this sentence was uttered:
“it is okay if something is hard, it just means we have to work hard to get it right.”
after dropping them at school i thought about what was said to get us where we needed to be at the appointed time and wondered if i believed my own input. a great deal of my adult struggle has been that if something is hard, my belief is that i have done something wrong or don’t have what it takes (that i am inherently supposed to have). it’s as if in my frazzled state i’ve forgotten to take my “what it takes” multivitamin and have been found deficient. if i am honest with myself i believe i should be able to do everything with grace and excellence. it is profoundly disturbing when i am confronted with the reality that this just is not so.
i have some gifts and am good at some things, but i don’t have other gifts and am really not good at other things. and this, my friend is what it means to be human. when we lose touch with this reality, we lose the freedom to be human. and that’s a sad sight to see. for example, martha stewart spoke at a blogging conference i attended a few years back. when asked if there was anything that she doesn’t do well she paused for what seemed like forever, thinking hard, and then smiled and said, “i guess something i haven’t tried yet.” to which i replied to the bloggers nearby, “perhaps being humble amiright?”
this was profoundly disturbing to me because here she was with a chance to inspire women to put forth their beauty and excellence to the world while simultaneously letting us learn from her blunders, and she totally missed it. y’all, she was in jail and methinks that the judge and jury in that particular courtroom could have come up with a few items that she doesn’t do well. this was not a hard nut to crack as far as the areas in which she lacks gifts and instead she took that opportunity to wrap herself in a cloak of branding and glitter, glue-gunned that junk together so no one would see her falter.
we falter. we fail. and the beauty in that is that we get to work hard and learn from the beauty and natural gifting of those around us. when my girls get frustrated because they went to kick the soccer ball and their leg, with power and strength, flies right by the ball and high into the air, propelling their entire body up and back down again they are surprised. no, no i say that was the perfect first try!!! (go buy the book rosie revere if you want to enforce this idea) you did it, you went after that ball and you didn’t get it this time, but we are going to try again until we do.
perhaps you find yourself this morning lying on your back next to a soccer ball. instead of criticizing yourself and adding some items to the jumbotron in your head of what you are not good at, let’s hop up. let’s think of how we can learn from the whiff to get closer next time. let’s approach something with tenacity that does not come naturally and look forward to the incredible feeling of accomplishment that comes with learning something. let’s look the “fake it till you make it” movement straight in the face and say “it is not scary for me to not be good at everything and i look forward to spending my time, effort and energy on learning this fabulous challenge before me instead of wasting it on propelling a lie that i came with this particular skill.”
we are all learning, and it is hard and laborious. sometimes it takes most of our strength and energy to trudge on in the learning process. but let me tell you when i see you finally power your foot against that ball and hear the beautiful “twap” that comes with it you will see me dance and laugh and cry because sometimes in one moment you get to see that all the hard work was worth it.