15 Jul I am enough from Kelly Rae Roberts
photo of Kelly Rae courtesy of Andrea Scher
I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before, but the biggest thing I’ve learned about myself this year is this: I am a perfectionista. And it sort of sucks.
I’m realizing that I go WAY above and beyond what’s expected of me in just about every situation of my life: in my creative business (which translates into a LOT of hard work, late nites, and feelings of sadness the minute I think I disappoint a biz partner or student or customer), in my personal relationships (which translates into my never feeling like I’m giving enough), and in my relationship with myself (which translates into an inner dialogue that goes something like this, “do more, love more, contemplate more, evolve, and do it faster.”).
Add a pregnancy (my first ever!), a big move, a major home renovation (my first ever!), and giant creative biz deadlines/endeavors, and my inner perfectionista is seriously having the time of her life. Everyday, we battle. She pushes in with “get your shit together, Kelly Rae. You aren’t eating enough veggies for your unborn baby,” or “Those wall paint colors you chose for the renovation house are close, but not perfect. Try again” or “You’re first e-course seems to be a hit, but you are making big mistakes with it.” My heart pushes back with all its heart + soul counter language, all the firm yet loving boundaries that generally work like a charm. Most of the time, my heart wins. Because love (even toward ourselves) always wins.
But it’s a constant struggle, especially inside those months where my inspiration seems to have the reigns and I’m just along for the ride. It usually means weeks and weeks of feeling like I’m caught in the whitewash of the surf, just getting hammered by the give and take of the momentum. Or it means an acute awareness of knowing that many people (creative biz partners, students, family, etc) are depending on me to do my very best, to show up and succeed. And let me just say, I’m very good at meeting other’s expectations. I’m a great student, always aim to please and work hard for that A+ grade from you, my family, my friends, my students, my husband, myself. Totally exhausting, right? I know!
Intellectually I know I am enough. I know that I have the capacity to hold a lot of love, chaos, and inspiration. I know that I thrive when juggling multiple balls in the air, that I enjoy it. I know that I am supported and deeply loved whether or not I ever do or accomplish anything ever again. I know that in the end none of this really matters except love and faith and tenderness and brokenness and being open to the rushing in of all of it. But what I’m learning, I suppose, is that my own heart needs to catch up with my intellect already knows: that I am worthy. That it’s me (not you, my family, my friends, my community) that sets the bar of what’s expected and that it’s me that gets to determine that I am indeed enough – not based on what I do, how many A+’s I can collect, but rather who I am. That my inner perfectionista is just a mere inkling of a thought and that my spirit’s capacity is beyond measure of any horizon on earth.
In the end, I don’t want to be remembered for all those A+’s, or all those expectations met, or all those seemingly meaningless inner dialogue battles. I want to be remembered for having the grace of celebrating my own worthiness and the those that I love. I want to be remembered for trusting my own limitlessness, for embracing my own power. For knowing when to let go. When to let love in. And how to love well. Myself included. I really really am enough. There is so much grace in that perspective. And I’m so grateful for it.
About Kelly Rae Roberts
Kelly Rae is the author of Taking Flight: Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings, a best selling art + inspirational book that encompasses all aspects of what it means to live the creative life. Her work has been featured in a variety of mixed media books by her peers and she’s had several articles published in various magazines, including Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset Life, Somerset Studios, and Memory Makers. Much of her artwork is licensed and can be seen in stores nationwide on a variety of products, including cards, journals, magnets, decorative wall art, and more. In addition to painting, licensing her work, and writing, Kelly is passionate about teaching others how they too can find their creative wings with her inspiring ecourses + workshops that are held all over the world. You can learn more about her on her website and blog.
Bio photo by Denise Andrade.