The morning started early for me, with my alarm screaming me awake at 2:30 am. I had intended to leave Los Angeles at 6:00 and fly into Chicago by noon. That did not happen. My travel plans completely fell apart, and, for the first time in my life, I missed my original flight. Anxiety, fear and frustration soon filled my body, my mind, and my heart. What a mess this day had turned out to be.
I finally arrived into Chicago late in the afternoon worried about making my Friday evening engagement. I felt like a wreck, exhausted from my 11-hour relationship with American Airlines. And here, in this disheveled emotional state is where I often live. Life has a way of kicking my emotional ass time and time again. I make plans, but life over-rides them. In fact, I have given up on pretending to be perfect, acceptable and in control, and have embraced my imperfection.
I have realized that my facades were built so you would not reject me. Rejection makes me sick to my stomach and lonely. This fear has a way of dominating and diminishing joy. I want you to know me and accept me. But who is going to accept my mess? So I pretend. I pretend to be okay. I pretend that I am in control of all the ups and downs that life brings me. Though inside I damn well know about my messes and I hide them. I need to stop pretending because it is our messes that connect us. Just imagine the feeling we could share, the emotional connections that are achievable if only you could see me and I could see you, and we accepted each other unconditionally. Imagine the joy! Imagine how emboldened our creativity would become. We could let our inner child out to dream and explore doing daring things once again!
This is the place that I want to live in! This is the place that I found myself in the moment I arrived at that evening engagement in Chicago. I had arrived, not at a place or location, but at a moment in time where joy was being nurtured! Where pretending was not needed. As the authors of Round Table Companies stood up and introduced themselves my heart begin to beat with joy. And then it was my turn. Let me introduce myself. “My name is Mark. I am a mess and I am okay with it!”