“Perfect.” That was the name I gave myself at a Women’s Retreat I attended last weekend during a spiritual exercise we were asked to do. Oh, don’t get me wrong! It’s not that I think I’m perfect; it’s that I realized I still operate out of the belief that I have to be perfect in order to be valued.
And of course, all of this came right after I wrote my last blog on identity. Do you think maybe God’s trying to tell me there’s still a little more work to do in this area?
So, on to my “perfect” weekend:
- I spilled an entire, large cup of coffee all over the place in front a billion women. (Okay, not a billion, but close.)
- I broke a beautifully manicured nail – way, way down below the finger line, you know, to the place where it stings like . . .(well, you fill in the blank).
- My daughter and I walked past a glass sign for the retreat and lovingly knocked that sucker over, watching it shatter into a million pieces. And I do mean a million.
- I hardly slept the entire weekend (one of the worst things for singing), and knew I had to lead worship Sunday morning which of course, I wanted to be “perfect.”
- And to top it all off, a cute little birdie pooped on my bare foot during my quiet time with God. Priceless.
God had a funny way of stripping away all of my perfect self that weekend, leaving me utterly dependent on what I believe He was telling me His name for me was: “Beautiful.” Bird poop and all.
Why is it still so hard for me to see myself as “beautiful?” (And I’m not talking looks.)
I get my identity now. I know I am loved by God and feel more secure in that than ever. And yet, I still try to live up to my own given name, Perfect, instead of seeing myself as God sees me – faults and all – Beautiful.
I’m not the only one with this problem. One friend at the retreat told me her name was “Crisco,” after the shortening. That was the name her dad called her once because she was overweight as a child. He called her that just one time and yet that name still labels her today. Still another person told me she was operating out of the name “Critic.” She got that from her mom.
As the last session of the retreat was coming to a close, I began to really think about how fierce and powerful we could be if we all operated out of our God-given names, rather than those given to us by ourselves or others. For me, the name “Beautiful” represents something exceedingly precious and valuable enough to admire and spend time with.
If I saw myself as God sees me, Beautiful, every second of every single day, no matter how I failed that day . . .
I might not be so hesitant to take chances. If I fail, who cares! I’m still Beautiful.
I might not get as easily offended by what others say or think about me.
I might be able to relax a little more – or, a lot more – and enjoy my life on a whole new level.
I wonder what your name is and what you think God’s name for you is. I know for me, I’ve made a deal with myself. From now on, every time I begin to feel frustrated with myself or am finding Perfect rearing her ugly head, I am going to remind myself, even out loud if I have to, of my God-given name: Beautiful.
I hope you do the same. Just imagine the changes that might take place if you do!
And now, time to post this imperfect blog . . .
One day when he was feeling his own faults very strongly, Murshid went into meditation and asked God what to do. He received the answer:
“Your faults are My Perfections.” ‘
“Murshid” in this exerpt is a Sufi title, here referring to “Sufi Sam” Lewis, whom I only learned about recently. (He’d been running around San Francisco teaching Sufi practices back when I was a kid, before “the Beats” — and later founded the place where one of my better current friends grew up.) Anyway, I liked that perspective.
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Also, a poster on the wall of a yogi friend, some years ago: A small boy, looking completely bratty. With the caption, “I love him, not because he is good, but because he is my little child.”
I think that’s what Jesus was talking about, when he tried to get people to understand God’s feeling toward us.
Yep, that was my friends’ nickname for me in high school. It derived from years of perfecting being goofy & silly, not just from my sharp wit gift (which is what people saw), but deeply from my ability to hide my feelings of inadequacy.
Those inept traits have followed me into womanhood & motherhood. My walk with God is redirecting my Goofy (critical) thinking of myself & slowly teaching me to embrace thoughts of Grace – which is easier to give to other people than to myself.
So I will work on recalibrating my view. I would like to replace Goofy with Grace in my actions (mind you I still get to have my sharp whit, just appropriately goofy). And I will replace Dingy Donna with,,, Delightful Donna! Here’s hoping! ;}
I just now am reading your blog & you inspired me, thank you. I think I’m going to start stalking your real, raw & witty blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there! Your words, like you, are Beautiful!!
You can stalk me anytime, sweet friend! :) Thank you for your wonderful words. You inspire me!
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