We All Have Crap, the Trick is Learning to Love It
I love my faults. There are certain behaviours about myself that I’m not a huge fan of, and that I’m working to rectify, but I truly love my faults. Things like my stubborn nature, my drive, and often frustrating need to have my voice heard. How I stumble through tough conversations and how I refuse to be bullied just because I’m young. My need for privacy and validation, the need to show others that what I do, think, say and feel matters.
Two months ago, I hated my faults. In fact, if I’m to be entirely honest, I hated a lot of things about myself back then. To me, my faults were insurmountable – epic ingrained issues that made me some sort of super villan incapable of affection and friendship. I felt like I was so screwed up that I didn’t deserve to be happy. I didn’t deserve to love and be loved, to have friends and be a good friend.
And slowly but surely I convinced myself that all of this was true. I convinced myself that I was destined to be miserable, that nothing in my life was good or pure or worth celebrating. I hated everything – my house, my business, my friends, my husband, my parents, my dog.
But I wasn’t always like that. I took the time to check.
I called old friends and asked them, “Have I always been a cold-hearted bitch?” The overwhelming answer was, “No.” Granted, I’ve always been a little socially awkward and introverted, maybe a little too blunt at times, but generally I was a pretty well-adjusted person. I had friends, people who cared about me and enjoyed my company.
So what happened?
I’ve spent the greater part of a week trying to figure this out. Two months ago I thought it was my marriage. That I’d made an epic mistake getting married and that my partner was the problem. And while there are some issues there, (there always are in a marriage), that’s not really the heart of the matter. I know exactly why I married my husband, and they’re reasons I’ll always be proud of.
The truth is I forgot who I was. I got caught up in the crap of life, and couldn’t get over my faults – my past mistakes and transgressions. The “what ifs” and “should haves”. And slowly, over time, I became someone else. I stopped being the woman my husband loved, to the point where he forgot who I was. I became someone he didn’t want to be married to. I stopped being a friend. In fact, I thought I was physically and emotionally incapable of making new friends. I felt completely and utterly alone, not because I was, but because I’d made myself be.
I stopped being flexible. Being vulnerable.
I stopped rolling with the punches, approaching each new day with a “come what may” attitude. I stopped seeing opportunities, and only noticed the road blocks. I stopped smiling, I stopped laughing, I stopped believing in what I knew was true and good. I stopped believing in my understanding of faith, I stopped taking credit for accomplishments and stopped being proud of the amazing things I’ve been able to do.
I stopped living.
If there’s one thing the past two months has taught me, it’s that everyone has crap. Everyone has faults – moments in their life that they aren’t proud of. Decisions they regret, demons they battle. And for the most part, we hide our crap. Cover it up so that no one can see it, pretend that we’re perfect and happy. We push the hurt away because it doesn’t feel good, because we don’t want others to see that we’re hurting. We don’t deal with it, we just make it go away – erase it and start over. Find a new way to be perfect.
But perfection is the enemy of the good.
We aren’t perfect. No one is. Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to some amazing people about my crap. Low and behold, when I stopped protecting myself behind my walls of self-loathing and fear, I emerged to find that I had friends. And not just the ones that will drink with you during the fun times, but the real kind, the ones that respond to the drunk text messages or pick up the late night phone call – when the real you is most evident.
And you know the most amazing part? All of my friends have gone through crap – are still dealing with crap. Some of it was small and insignificant, and then some of it made my current situation look like a walk in the park. My friends all have faults. They’ve made mistakes. They’ve hurt and have hurt other people.
They’re just like me.
I’m not perfect. I never was. I’ve always had flaws, and it’s those flaws that make me human, make me – me. It’s why my friends love me. I assume they’re why my husband loved me once. It’s why people are here for me right now, when everything is upside down. Faults build character, they provide us with the tools and experience that we need to take on the world. You can’t put a bandaid on a fault or cover up the hurt by pretending that it doesn’t matter, that you’re ok when you’re actually falling to pieces inside. You also can’t forget those faults or the pain associated with them. You can’t just wish them away. Because they’ll come back. And when they do, it will be with a vengeance.
All you can do is embrace them. Work through the hurt and the pain. Understand your issues and your struggles.
The people who truly love you – the real you, faults and all – will be there waiting on the other side.