I had recently been held at gun point in the house I was living in. I was shaken and scared and wanted to curl into a little ball and never come out. My mom took me to a talk given by Alison. You may recall her story from about 17 years ago. She was raped, disemboweled, had her throat cut and was left for dead. She survived! In every sense of the word. I wont re-tell her story here, you can get her book for a truly inspirational read.
What I will tell you is how she opened that talk. Something that has stuck with me this whole time.
Alison gave that talk in a school hall, there were adults, teenagers, children. People that had been through unspeakable horror and their families too.
Alison stood in front of us and she said the following: “If you can sing, raise your hand.”
A handfull of adults put their hands up, every single child (they were all sitting on the floor in the front) stuck their hands in the air.
Alison pointed this out to us and said that she never asked if we could sing well, just if we could sing. We should all have put our hands up.
The point she was making is that somewhere along the road to growing up, we become jaded, we stop believing we can do things, just because we cant do them well. We see doing something well or correctly through the eyes of other people, ‘experts’ if you will, when we should be our own critics, our own experts, our own judges. We have unimaginable power to do anything we set our minds to!
You may not paint like Picasso or sing like Michael Buble, or swim like Ryk Neethling but you CAN paint, you CAN sing, you CAN swim.
I think that sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. We demand perfection in every aspect of our lives. But we are not perfect, we are unique and that what makes us special.
I think that this will be my new years resolution. To not be so hard on myself, to not demand perfection. To paint and sing and swim just for the hell of it and not for anyones approval.
P.s. I have first dibs on the painting of the polka dot heals if it is ever for sale!