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Bless this Mess

You know that question that you always dread during job interviews? “So what is your biggest flaw?”


Now the perfectionist and people pleaser in all of us usually responds with one of those cliches like “I care too much” or “sometimes I end up overworking myself.”


When really, my answer should sound like this “I can be loud and obnoxious at the wrong times” or “sometimes I’m a control freak and I can’t help it” or “I’m way too social for my own good and it can interfere with my work.”


I’m a flawed person. And you know what, I fully accept that.


I think we shy away from that question, from the “what is your biggest flaw” question, because at some point, we really don’t want to acknowledge we have any flaws to begin with. If you’re like me, you always strive to see the best in people, and hopefully, you do the same for yourself.


But here’s the thing. You as a person are the culmination of all your little quirks and qualities. So yea, you’re flawed. I’m flawed. And those flaws are what make me me.


So bless this mess. Bless the mistakes I’ve made. Bless the things I’m still working to improve. Bless it all.

Recently, I’ve been really open and honest with myself about the qualities I’m maybe not so proud of. For example, I can be incredibly judgmental, I’m bad at keeping a secret unless you explicitly tell me not to tell a soul, and I don’t think I’ve shown up to a social engagement on time once in the past month. This is real, this is me. And I’ll shout it from the rooftops if I have to.


There are a lot of aspects to self-discovery and finding your inner joy and peace. I think finding your flaws is an absolutely crucial step in that journey. You can’t ignore pieces of who you are and expect to live a full life. It doesn’t work like that.


In a way, the flaws we struggle with become the stories we tell. If we were perfect every step of the way, how the heck would we grow? If we weren’t at least a little messy, would we even be having fun? No one wants to sit in the pristine room of all white furniture and blank walls. We want to be in the room with paint on the walls and chaos all around. The room with history and crazy stories. It’s okay to have a corner that we’re maybe just a little bit ashamed of. Even the chapters we didn’t publish are still a part of our story.


This sign sits in my room right on my desk where I can always see it. It just says “bless this mess.” And let me tell you, I thank God every day for the messes he’s put in my life.


In no way shape or form have I lived a perfect life. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve tried to control people and ended up pushing them away. I’ve judged people before I got to know them. I’ve closed the door on people and opportunities that could have been really great. I have some deep-rooted insecurities and issues that I’m still figuring out. I have flaws that go beyond running late and being too social. Sometimes they’ve led to heartbreak and loneliness. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, even though it may look like it to the outside observer.


But I’m thankful for my faults and my flaws. They’ve given me something to work on. They’ve given me permission to not spend every waking hour or my life as some perfect version of a 25-year-old woman. I get to go a little crazy because I’ve let go of the expectation that I’m 100% sane.


Admitting your flaws gives you freedom. Owning up to your messiness means no one can use it against you. You get to direct the narrative. You get to find the blessings amidst the chaos and confusion and the complicated person you are.


I’m messy, but I’m still loved. I have faults, but I’m still whole. I’m not perfect, but that’s what makes me human.


My challenge to you today is to do some soul searching. To find the flaw. To own up to it. To see opportunities for growth there. To flaunt your messiness. Because it’s made you beautiful.


You want to hear what else is really cool? The people in your life still absolutely adore you. They love you despite the flaws and the mess ups and the confusion and the times you’ve missed the mark. Isn’t it time you started loving yourself with the same ferocity? Isn’t it time to love yourself, faults included?


So say it with me. All together now, “bless this mess!” Say it loud and proud and go out into the world free of expectations and a need for perfection. I hope it leads to a truly fantastic life.


-ACB-


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