Living Whole-Heartedly

How to learn to live and love with your whole heart? How to embrace imperfection? How to let go of the person we think we should be and accept who we really are?

According to Brené Brown, the author of our monthly book,  “The Gifts of Imperfection”, the only way to live with your whole heart is precisely by cultivating the gifts of imperfection, which are courage, compassion and connection.

I was not sure of how to approach this subject and I decided to do it from my experience, because in the end that is the most valuable thing I have to offer. Here my three cents.

For me, the trip to a wholehearted life ( that I started to undertake about three years ago ),  is like trying to get from Tecamachalco to Chalma of Guadalupe for the first time in your life circa 1997 with a Guía Roji map (which you do not know how to use but your parents insisted on you carrying it), a half full gas tank, a Ladatel phone card, $200 on your wallet and a manual transmission car that you learned to drive the day before yesterday.  And you take the road nervously and happily for having the courage to get out and you start to believe in yourself, and you carelessly drive singing and celebrating the greatest moments of your incredible life just to realize a few hours later that you are going in the opposite direction and that you are lost. And everything starts to go down the drain, no entirely, just a little, you still believe you are in control of the situation,  you are sure that it was just a wrong turn and that in two blocks you will be back on the road you know, no need to ask for help, you still recognize some streets, you are still turning around. And now, you have to accept it, you are lost. It is a fact of history, you have no idea where you are. You are in the middle of unknown, dark and terrifying neighborhoods, and you repent for all things, specially for having ignored your father while he was trying to give you directions. You lose faith, patience, the cool. You feel fear and frustration. There is no way. You circle around. You hit a wall. You get to the breaking point and you start to cry over the steering wheel ( if there is not,  you are more lost than ever… believe me), your incredible life no longer looks so incredible and all the stamina and emotion and energy with which you got into the car starts to vanish and now the realness hits in.  And of course, in that moment, you get to a slope with traffic, and the car turns off, because remember, you learned to drive a week ago, and your self trust….. wait, what self trust? , and the endless row of cars in peak hours will not let you forget how inadequate you are. And you get the confirmation of how a bad idea it was to believe in yourself, and in what fucking moment did you believe you could do it?! It was obvious it was a bad idea and you knew it, someone had told you. The claxons are only the confirmation. But soon you breathe, you come back to you, you regroup, reevaluate your options ( because there are always options), you turn off the claxons and the insults, and you remember that you did pay attention to you driving instructor… brake, clutch, first speed, release clutch, release brake, step on the accelerator…. and if you were paying attention to what your father was saying  when he was explaining you the difference between Periférico Norte and Eje 6, overall you remember that there is always the fabulous and easy option of…. opening your window and asking for help as many times as it is necessary because sometimes that is the only thing that is needed… opening your window and asking for help. Some people will help you, others, not so much. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you learned to ask for help. In a few words, you remember that you have your bag full of tools and that you are capable of doing hard things, and that you were right to trust in yourself, and that if the man on your back, thinks you are a silly girl that should not be driving, that is his problem, not yours, and you repeat to yourself that you are learning to drive and that the car will turn off on this occasion and many more and that it does not matter, and suddenly….. suddenly, turn to the right, and  halleluuuujah, Periférico!

And it does not mean that with this experience you know how to get everywhere and that you know it all, on the contrary, but you accumulate lessons and learnings through practice and like that in your next journey,  will you make mistakes? sure! but they will not be the same. This time you will open your window from the start….

With lots of love,

Bea

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