Present Over Perfect 2
“Present over perfect is choosing real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. The world God created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms and doesn’t need to be controlled or rushed. Sink deeply into the world as it stands. Breathe in the smell of the rain. Hear the scuff of the leaves as they scrape across driveways in the dark of the nights.” Shauna she stripped all this out of her life – constant traveling, over working, compulsive activity, a too full family schedule, a cluttered home. She found that her senses became attuned so much more deeply than they’d been in years. Music and nature began reaching her to a depth she couldn’t remember since adolescence. She loves this presence of mind and living in her home less full of stuff. “I have only one thing to do and that’s be the wave that I am, and then sink back into the ocean.” Fiona Apple
“Do you know what it’s like to be rested? Truly rested? I didn’t for about two decades. Do you know what it is like to feel connected, in deep and lovely ways, to the people you love most? Do you know the sweetness of working hard and then stopping? Be careful how much of yourself you give away, even with the very best intentions. So much of life seems to be about reclaiming and gaining space, and I spend more time with my Father. I’m finding that my ability to sit with Jesus makes me more present and connected to my husband Aaron and my boys. I’m so thankful for Aaron. With each passing year, I’m more thankful.” Shauna never wants to be a divorce casualty so common in the world. She and her husband Aaron changed the way they approach their wedding anniversaries. They really CELEBRATE and plan out months ahead what they are going to do to celebrate and spend lots of time talking and enjoying each other.
Shauna finds that the more she lets go, the happier she is. She has found a more simple way of makeup and dressing, and has made peace with her “medium” body. She even got 2 tattoos: one on each forearm. One is a “heart to remind me each day that I am loved by God no matter what – there is nothing I can do in this new day to earn more love – nothing. When I begin the day in that love – that centering awareness of my worth and connection to God – the day is different. Fear dissipates, and what I am left with is warmth, creativity, generosity because my worth isn’t on the line every time.” Unconditional love changes everything. The other is a “’yes’ to reminder the sweet, wide-open way of living wholehearted & connected right here. After learning to say no: then say “Yes!” to beauty, freedom, soulfulness, life, play, creativity and God’s wild expansive love – yes, yes, Yes! I’m loved and I choose to say yes. Yes. Yes.”
“This awareness of love, though, this sense of soul’s worth, not because of my own doing but because of God’s great love and grace – changes everything. For the first time in my life, my faith is the softest part of my life, the most healing, most life-giving space in my heart. Instead of one more thing to do or try or fail at, my relationship with God is the force of love that heals up all other bruised and broken parts. Prayer is the safest, most nurturing activity I practice, almost like sitting in the sun, face tilted up, or imagining yourself as a child, crawling up into the lap of a treasured, trusted grandparent. Jesus asks, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” The “whole world” is essentially all the “things” you’ve ever wanted and tried to prove yourself. Instead, I’m learning that both body & soul require more attentiveness than I had imagined. Our souls are what allow ourselves to connect – with God, with our family & other people, with nature & art.
Shauna’s husband Aaron says things around home are “messier” as she is not running around cleaning and fussing all the time. He has more to do and there is more they leave undone. However, he says, “I have my wife back, and it’s totally completely worth it!”
“That’s why this journey matters. Because I was on a dangerous track, where I was giving the best of myself to people and things “out there,” while the inner core of my life and home were increasingly stretched, pressurized, and brittle. And now they are not. Now the most beautiful, well-tended, truly nurtured and nourished parts of my life are the innermost one, not the flashy public ones. That’s just as it should be. And this year Shauna’s son Henry told his circle of friends and family that one of the things he was most thankful for was that his parents don’t work too much to spend time with him. “You know, I just feel like my mom and dad and Mac and I are really connected.”
This is has been part 2 of the book review on: Present Over Perfect.