I understand the truth, and the importance, of the advice to surround ourselves with people who bring out our best selves. Because I can never be good enough, never be faultless or blameless, because I need the healing balm of grace every day of my life, I do want to give myself the best allies in the quest to live a good life.
There is a little naysayer inside who condemns. Who questions motives, who compares. I have a variety of standard responses to the naysayer. Some, I can't write here. But some are pathetic first responses that need to be addressed, so my self esteem can be talked off the ledge.
The naysayer wants me to believe that I am never enough. That naysayer loves to hook up with negative energy coming from both myself and people with critical natures. There are lessons to be learned there, in that moment of despair when I realize I've messed up again. If I thought I was above making mistakes, that would truly be self deception. But, my choices for what to do with that information are the key to turning the reality of my faults into help, or harm, for myself.
I know a really wise woman who believes with all her heart that we ought to love, and be grateful for, our imperfections. That it is those very aspects of ourselves that drive us outside of ourselves to look for our redemption. She says that embracing our imperfections are in fact a way of being grateful that we are alive. It is very different notion from using our human frailties as an excuse to behave badly. It is, in fact, the opposite.
Requiring perfection for fear of losing the love of our dear ones, including our creator, is an exercise in self flagellation. Yet, the pesky little naysayer wants me to fear. Fear failure. Fear loss. Fear grief. The antidote to fear is not my own courage. It is my own desire to allow myself to be forgiven. To live in gratitude for grace itself.
There are many people in my life who give me grace all the time. It is the gift that keeps on giving. And, it is the gift that grows more powerful when shared with others. Take that, naysayer!