Life Work About Offering…(Not Perfection!)

As I have pursued my calling and my passions in the last few years in the arts and writing, I have experienced ever-increasing fears — what if I am not good enough?  What if my painting or my writing is lame?  Or stupid?

Permit me to diverge from my usual writing themes of how to homeschool, etc, to spend some time with these fears.  This article is written for people like me that question themselves (a lot!).

When I think about all I am doing, getting my kids to their schools and activities, writing, marketing my curriculum, and painting, I wonder…”what if my work is of little consequence?  What if I am wasting my time?  What if other people are better at these disciplines and what if I am royally embarrassing myself in taking the time to devote my life to these pursuits?

All of these questions could point to the fact that — yes, maybe others are better. Maybe I am not the best.  Why then should I write at all; why do any of these things?  Why do I sit down to write and spend a whole day painting each week?

Somewhere in my being I truly believe in my heart that this is the best use of my time; though I might not be the best at any one of these pursuits.  Why do I embrace this belief — because these gifts come from a place of offering.  I offer the world my truest beliefs about California history through my curriculum book.  It comes from a place of curiosity, love, and a desire to show others the depth and the facets of what I love.  As I go out in the world to explain my book to others, if I see my time and my work as an offering, it is enough.  My work is good enough.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it an honest offering, yes.  Customers are invited to take what they will — out of my book.

Included in the idea of an offering is the chance that others may or may not accept it.  The brutally honest aspect of embracing my work as an offering is that I must accept of the idea that my ideas might be rejected.  Buyers and reviewers might take issue with my work.  When I embrace the offering mentality, I can with humility hear the words of wisdom about what I need to make more clear.  An issue that others might have with my work points to aspects — of my work — I need to explore and improve upon.  In an offering mindset, I have space to accept feedback.  I do not have to be perfect.  My work is okay and I am okay.  My offering may need to be revised, that’s all.

Additionally, in seeing pursuits through an offering mindset, there is freedom to try new things, gain new skills, and get work into the world that is a work-in-progress.  What, not getting work perfect?  Sometimes a painting or writing piece stays at less than 100% in the short run.  Is this a cop-out?  In the long run, I don’t think so.  To make some offerings 100% would require a potential reworking of the whole creation itself.  Sometimes, it’s just better to get the work out there and explore the feedback.  Make that major revision down the line.  But get the offering out there!

I invite you — moms — to consider your work both in your family and any professional pursuits through this frame.  Your work is enough because you love your children.  Do you get overwhelmed and snap?  Yes.  Do you make poor judgments sometimes?  Yes.  Do you love your children and want the best for them?  Yes.  Moms, your offering is enough because it comes from a place of intense love.

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