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Permission to Be

Permission to Be

Today I stopped chasing perfection. Today I gave myself permission to not be perfect. Perfection is for God and I am not Him. So today, I gave myself permission to be human, to be imperfect–in short, to be me.

Isn’t it time you gave yourself permission to be imperfect?

Don’t let the quest for perfection hold you back from your dreams. Do your best and accept that it’s the best you can do right now. Do yourself a favor;Β let go and let God.

Because if you’re trying to be perfect, than you’re trying to be someone you’re not. Unless you recently attained godhood, then by all means, go ahead and be perfect. πŸ™‚


Update

Today I gave up fretting about the things I can’t change. Those things are:

  1. Curse Breaker: Enchanted will never be perfect no matter what I do. All I can do is give it my best and that has to be enough.
  2. I can’t record the audio book myself without a quiet space to record in and lots of time. This was a crushing disappointment. I really want Curse Breaker: Enchanted to be an audio book because I love audiobooks. I belong toΒ a small, but fervent, audio book club at my job and I know the membersΒ would love to listen to my book.
  3. I have to trust that a narrator will give my book a chance and take a chance on narrating it for no upfront money. I have to hope it will sell enough on Audible.com to make it worthwhile for the same narrator to come back and narrate the sequels.
  4. The manuscript editing will get done but slowly because I work a lot. IΒ edited another 5K words today bringing the total edited word count to 35K. I have about 65K words yet to edit on my first pass through the manuscript. Tomorow’s goal is to reach 40k words edited.

48 thoughts on “Permission to Be

    1. Thank you Cheryl and thank you for the link. I am jumping over to read it πŸ™‚ I am sorry I have not been visiting much lately. I steal a little time to get on WP each day from other activities.

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      1. Melinda, no applogies are ever necessary. I have not graced you or many others with visits safe for a few haiku here and there…life happens when a writer is not writing (but always composing). Hugs to you!

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          1. It is sort of like friends…I have many friends I have not seen or called in months, and they never doubt our friendship. But for blogging, I spent a ridiculous amount of time online before my mother died and slowly I needed to tend to other things…when I retire, I hope to keep my life balanced as it has become now. Big hugs to you, my dear.

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            1. I am sending you a big hug in return πŸ™‚ I agree with you. I have friends I haven’t called or seen in awhile too, though we’re also related. So they can’t doubt the friendship πŸ™‚ I keep tabs on them on Facebook every so often πŸ™‚

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      1. As a recovering perfectionist, I wish someone had given me permission years ago to let go, let it flow, be okay with the messiness of life {as you had so eloquently said in a previous reply!}…because no one wants to read about a character, or a story, or a process that is perfect. None of us can relate to that kind of process, to that life…we’re all full of imperfections, holes, cracks, and mistakes…but sometimes, it’s those imperfections that are so alluring, draws people in, makes people feel comfortable and relate-able {is that edit necessary, WordPress?!? πŸ˜‰ }. It’s something most of us will strive for most of our lives — I will say that as I am rounding the corner of 40, it’s much easier to see the progression. My children started following in my footsteps of seeking perfection and I was horrified they couldn’t be happy with their successes — until I realized they were likely never satisfied with themselves based on my reactions to my own work. I didn’t see a lot of my mistakes until they manifested in my children — and then it’s a horrible thing to think that not only have I allowed my children to think less of themselves, but I have painted myself into a box of never being good enough. How sad! This is not what I was meant for, or meant to be. These days, it’s all about grace and space. We try to remind each other daily — if we don’t give ourselves grace and space, how can we expect anyone else to do so? If we demand it of ourselves, we’ll demand others give us this too…we’ll be sending out the messages to the world we wish to receive. Circling back to your post — giving yourself, “Permission to Be” is a beautiful thing πŸ™‚

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        1. I love that “grace and space” that is exactly it! I have had part of the refrain from one of my fav songs running through my head for months now. It goes something like “clear the chaos and the clutter…find the frame where we are free…” it just kind of clicked the other night when I realized I was obsessing about things that I can’t change instead of focusing on what I can do. My work experience, my college course work–all of it gave me the skills I need to get my book ready for publication and to publish it. My sister was so wise to ask that of me. I had never let anyone except her read anything I’d written before she died. I have made huge strides in the last two years and I needed to cut myself some much needed slack. I am glad I am not the only recovering perfectionist! It is comforting to know that there are others out there and that they had moments of clarity that shifted their perspectives too. It sounds like you have wonderful children πŸ™‚ They are lucky to have you. I am glad you are helping them to avoid the perfection trap that we fell into! They will be happier and healthier people without that kind of emotional baggage.

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          1. I can only hope! As I remind them, and myself, constantly: We are always our own worst critic. We’ll always expect more of ourselves than anyone else will. If we don’t give ourselves permission to be imperfect, impractical, make mistakes, have fun, goof off – who will? No one will give us what we need if we don’t demand it of ourselves. Change comes from within — and ultimately the only person you can change is yourself. So if you change the script – allow yourself the grace and space to be whomever, whatever, you are evolving to be — you’ll be happier, you’ll have energy and love for yourself AND for the people around you. I have to remind myself…when I feel sucked into that rabbit hole of self-doubt and regret, that I’m the only one I have to blame for it – and instead of continuing the spiral, acknowledge that it is part of who I am, accept it something I don’t want to indulge or need in my process, and begin anew. Thank you for this post — I’m totally taking my comments, linking back to your post, and blogging about this πŸ™‚ Our words have power and I’m so happy I’ve found yours and can follow your process! Congrats on all your hard work and the work to come πŸ™‚

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            1. Thank you! That’s a brilliant idea for a post! I will repost it! We need to get the word out. People need to be less hard on themselves. This is one of the most important of life’s lessons. I need that “give yourself grace and space” reminder posted on my fridge or my wall of aspirations. I’m going to print it up and post it where I can see it to remind me to give myself a break. You are so right about changing the script and that if we don’t demand what we need, then we’ll never get it. I need to start doing that πŸ™‚

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                1. Yes it is and a start is what we need to raise awareness and kick folks into considering that there is an alternative! They don’t have to be miserable perfectionists. They can be happy with their imperfections πŸ™‚ I’m checking the post now. I have been looking forward to reading your take since you mentioned it πŸ™‚ Thank you for the heads up and for taking our comments as a jumping off point. πŸ™‚

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      1. AMEN! We are ALL works in progress — and if we can keep that perspective, it can make our successes {but more importantly, our perceived shortcomings!} more sweet! Write On, Writer! πŸ™‚

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          1. As I finished up my writing class last week, my students and I discussed the need to put space between the writing process and the edit process. To allow time to elapse between finishing the work and the editing. Stephen King wrote in his book, “On Writing” that he allows 3 months between the writing and the editing. I like to think of it as marinating versus brooding. I wrote my latest book iteration mainly during NaNoWriMo last November. I allowed several months to pass and began edits in late February. I started teaching a writing class again in April, and I write with my classes, so I put edits on hold and realized that my writing actually dovetailed with my November writing — which was necessary — so I’m knitting the two stories together in one massive edit. It’s likely just going to be a mess now — but once this is complete, I’m giving it a rest and tending to my garden {and we have construction starting again Monday!} then coming back to it. In some ways, I wish I had the time to dedicate to getting it finished in one go — but in other ways, I’m finding the story is much better with the marinating.

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            1. yes it is. My books have been marinating for 5 years. I wrote the series backwards, searching for where the heck it began and who began it? (All my series are like that. For some reason I know where it all ends but haven’t a clue where it begins.) Then I wrote 4 stories for the blog. So until I started editing Curse Breaker: Enchanted, it had sat languishing for 5 months. It’s sequel has languished for over a year and book 3 has languished for 2 years if not more, etc, etc, etc. What I posted on this blog from that book was written way before I started the blog. πŸ™‚ I’ve tried to read books about the craft of writing several times but I can’t get into them. I’ve heard Stephen King’s book is one of the better ones. Maybe someday I’ll find the audio edition and give it a go.

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              1. Don’t think of it as “languishing” it’s marinating {or maybe aging like a fine wine?} πŸ˜‰ I loved reading Stephen King’s “On Writing”; I first listened to the updated-with-author-thoughts, then read, “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg — awesome! There are many others – I think I wrote a blog post, or maybe a handout/email for my writing students…Topic for another blog post if I haven’t πŸ˜‰ I’m reading a great one now – second go through – suggested by Matt Randles — https://ayearwithmona.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/the-elements-of-eloquence/ — it’s fantastic! So many books…so little time…

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  1. “Perfection is for God and I am not Him.”
    Indeed my dear!
    You are admirable as you are.
    You are awesome as you are.
    You are lovable as you are.
    You are GREAT as you are.
    ❀

    My well wishes have been said for quite a lot of times already but I will never get tired of saying it. I believe in you, Mel! ❀ Tiwala lang. πŸ˜‰

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  2. Permission to be. Love this post of yours. It is crazy how we make our life complicated, self sabotage as I call it.

    Today I stopped chasing perfection. Today I gave myself permission to not be perfect. Perfection is for God and I am not Him. So today, I gave myself permission to be human, to be imperfect–in short, to be me.

    I believe one must always strive to the best and do the best one can, so one doesn’t fall into the lazyness, carelessness, procrastination pit – which is so easy to fall down into. But, one should also cut oneself a bit of slack – it is okay, perfect is not necessary always. And I tell you NO-ONE is NOT going to know it is not perfect ? Honestly, they wont know, just observe the reactions of people when say the dinner you cooked it not up to its normal standard -when served to friends who have never eaten it before – they wont notice, and family will be enjoying the company to comment.

    Nice post liked . Came across you from Jacquelines post about happiness, jumping at our pant legs – lol

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    1. Thank you for making the jump! Yes her post is so timely. It’s like she’s reading my mind. Her post series so accurately reflects what I’m grappling with that it’s eerie! Yes you are right on all counts. It dawned on me just as you said–how is anyone else going to know it’s not perfect? I am the only one and I know I did the best that I could. It was time to make that enough. I really like that line about happiness clinging to my pant leg! How I wish it did that!

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