And just like that, the Jen Hatmaker school of wisdom begins with a bang. In her amazing new creation, For the Love, Jen takes us on a journey of love, laughter and “fighting for grace in a world of impossible standards” . Chapter 1, entitled “Worst Beam Ever” is all about trying to balance the crazy and unreasonable demands of an artificially over-competent world, while living under the scrutiny of social media and unhealthy self-image. She compares the tension we feel to struggling along a balance beam, and points out that the unfortunate result of such destructive thinking lies here:
“We no longer asses our lives with any accuracy. We have lost the ability to declare a job well-done.”
She reminds us that no one can do it all….no one is doing it all, and to try is futile as well as maddening. We aren’t called to be master multi-taskers. We aren’t called to be wonder women, or top production managers, or masters of the to-do list.
What a relief! What a beautiful thing, to be openly told that our worth doesn’t come from our ability to please everyone, or check off the most items on a list, or be the best at every single thing we might possibly need to do or participate in. What a glorious day it will be when we believe this; when we realize that it’s okay to not be okay at something. When we can fathom a time of rest, and enjoy our work and our tasks because we have chosen to prioritize that which fulfills us. When we celebrate the fact that we are all different, and not having a particular gifting or skill set means that someone else gets to claim that one – and it’s a good thing! Our unique abilities are for use in our lives, as an enrichment, not a chain to drag us down into the depths of over-commitment.
The entire book is amazing, and I have read it many times already…but this chapter sang to my heart, because it so clearly and gracefully says what my very soul cries out for – there is acceptance and freedom in letting go of assumed guilt. There are so many seasons in our lives, we grow so much throughout the years….why waste time and energy bemoaning what we can’t accomplish when there is so much to celebrate? It’s not about the picture or post. It’s about life, real life, and finding our way to “walk confidently in our choices”. Doing so allows us to find freedom – from guilt, from worry, from comparison and competition.
It’s a fabulous start to an incredible book….and to an extraordinary life. Which is pretty much the point. Don’t you agree?
Solidarity, sisters. Unicorns are overrated.