A Woman's Voice

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) July 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

Six months into the job, much to my  dismay, I had a relapse. I pulled myself up again and returned to work after six weeks. Once I regained my self-esteem and self-respect, I was able to use some of my teaching skills in my new job. I enrolled in some courses being offered and made every effort to re-educate myself. Several people in my new place of employment saw the benefits of my previous teaching experience, and they helped me utilize them in a totally different situation. I will be forever grateful to all those people who helped me along the way. In most instances, they had absolutely no idea of what had happened or the point of reference I was coming from. Although they knew I had been on sick leave, they had no idea I suffered from depression or my previous history with it.

This is just my story, but each and every one of us has one. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with depression.

For me, by going back in time, looking at myself, and striving to better myself, I learned so much more. It not only gave me personal insight, it also gave me a better understanding of others. The more I saw and understood my own shortcomings and virtues, the more I understood and accepted others.

As difficult and as negative as the above experience was for me, in retrospect I would not have wanted it any other way. When I was in the midst of it, I prayed and wished it away. After much soul-searching and hard work, I accepted myself and realized that it is human to fail, and I could get up again. I also learned that life can consist of many failures, but each and every time, you just have to keep getting up. For me, it was easier to fall down and get up rather than just lay there and suffer with bouts of depression.

When I learned to look at myself this way, I also learned to look at others in the same light. At times it is hard to measure up to the goals we all set for each other or for ourselves. We all fail at one time or another. By seeing myself in a more human light and in a more humane way, I learned that the person I was had nothing to do with whether I failed at something. I could still be considered a good person, no matter what was going on in my life.

This is when I learned to separate the person from the action. Although I had not completely succeeded at classroom teaching, I was not being punished for not being good the way I had been taught. Being good at something and being a good person are two totally different things, but it is very hard to accept this fact if you have been taught otherwise. Oftentimes people associate suffering with punishment. It was ingrained in me that I would be punished if I stepped out of line. I have come to realize that there are many innocent people who do not deserve to suffer and therefore are not being punished.

After experiencing all that I did, I soon learned that I am not perfect and that failure is a fact of life. I was not being punished either. I also learned that when you look at your whole self and decide what you like or don’t like, you can alter your own behavior. I did this by looking back at what caused all my confused thinking, religious hang ups, and guilt. I knew that it didn’t start in my early thirties. It merely peaked there. It had a much earlier origin, and I needed to go all the way back to figure it out. I knew what brought me to my knees had to do with religion, but I needed to know why. The only solution was to go as far back in my memory bank that I could and get to the root of the problem. That’s exactly what I did. I had to start with the ABC’s of my original instruction and go from there. Once I did this, I understood myself a whole lot better. Once I understood myself better, I also had more understanding for human nature period. I just had to start with the human I needed to know better, namely, myself.

Conclusion tomorrow…


2 Responses to 'I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) July 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte'

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  1. chosenwoman said,

    I am so glad I am not perfect when I first became a believer I thought I had to be perfect! Girl friend it’s exhausting…LOL no one never told me different it’s amazing how I had to learn some things alone when the church I was attending should of taught me..so now I don’t consume myself on being perfect I just want to be like Jesus..and as long as I have breath I will never be perfect here on earth…but I can strive to be like Christ amen

    • Hi Desiray,
      It’s funny how we get these notions about what is expected of us a Christians. I thought I had to be perfect to be loved and it came as a huge relief to discover that I could be human. Afterall, I was created by God just the way I am. It’s wonderful to know that God loves me for whom I am and has an untold amount of patience when it comes to His children. I have every desire to be like Jesus too…and as long as I live and breathe, I know I will never be perfect either. But just like you, I can still strive to be Christlike. Blessings to you sis.

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