Do you ever feel like this?


You know those days. Either you said “the wrong thing” or you “messed up” and all you want to do is hide in your own shame cocoon. Do you have those? Tell me I’m not the only one.

I have been unlearning this pattern: try to say “right” thing, realize it didn’t come out “right”, start to melt inside, think it’s best to remove self from situation. What I am unlearning is my own perfectionism and impossibly high standards to always get it right. Who do you know that is actually like that?

My husband is a bit of my opposite (you know what they say…) and is quite the verbal processor. He is actually really comfortable expressing himself, however that may be, and he is actually quite comfortable with conflict. And, he rarely feels like hiding. He has invited me time and time again to express myself without worrying if it is “right.” Because there is actually no right and wrong when it comes to how we feel. And he just wants to be connected to me and to know what’s happening with me. And I have learned through our relationship and others that there is room for repair if things get messy. How about that?

It takes practice, but learning to accept my own messiness and to take risks has been the most vulnerable, but most connecting thing in my relationships. To be seen in my mistakes, and to own my imperfection (we’re all human, in case you didn’t know) is a new way of feeling more known and more free. Free to be me!

So, the next time you feel like diving down into the deep water where no one else can see you, think again and see if you can challenge yourself in small ways. What’s it like to not try to “fix it” right away, to let yourself create a little mess, to in fact just own you made a small mistake. Test those waters out. My guess is you will survive.

Happy swimming…

Alissa Swank