Last week I officially moved in to my new counseling office in north Atlanta. After three months of uncertainty, anxiety, a few tears, a lot of prayer and office-hopping between two locations, God provided me with a great space. The process of getting here, however, has not been so fun. I have felt like a one-woman circus organizing painters, carpet installations, furniture shipments, scheduling internet wiring and fixture repairs. After what seemed like so much work, the office is still far from complete. While I have great paint, carpet, a sofa and a cute coffee bar (priorities, right?), the office is still very bare. It is, and will be, a work-in-progress for quite some time.
Humans are a lot like this. We can put in so much effort and still feel like we are far from where we would like to be. This can be especially difficult since we live in a society that encourages us to “have it all” while appearing to “having it all together.” Being a work-in-progress is not typically something we highlight or celebrate. But, why not? The authenticity and vulnerability that come with admitting you don’t have it all together can be quite freeing and engaging. Whether you realize it or not, being honest about your struggles and imperfections makes you more real and certainly more relatable.
Recently, I was having coffee with a dear friend who just got engaged. She has been in counseling for about a year working through some insecurities and healing from past wounds. Though she’s experienced tremendous growth, she confessed, “It’s so strange, I thought when I got engaged I’d have this stuff worked out. I just thought I’d have it together by now.” I so appreciate my friend’s honesty and vulnerability. How often do we think we need to be at a certain place in life for good things to occur? I’m so grateful that God does not operate like this. We don’t have to have it all together to be blessed or to experience good things. Similarly, He does not withhold good because we aren’t seemingly where we “should” be in life. We are supposed to be works-in-progress. The key is to be able to accept ourselves, continue to live fully and give ourselves some grace in the process.
A common phrase I hear from clients is, “I have such a long way to go.” My response is always the same, “Look how far you’ve come though! You’ve had some fantastic growth. You’re not the same person as you were when you first started!” While they are viewing their progress by the end result (where they would like to be), I am viewing it from where they began. Two totally different outlooks.
The current state of my office space is a great representation of me. I am not perfect. I don’t have it all together. I sometimes do and say things I regret. I am a total work-in-progress. But guess what? Good things can still happen in spite of this. In fact, I have had some great sessions with my clients and no one seemed to mind that I was sitting in a lawn chair (okay, exaggerating about the lawn chair, but not by much!). What about you? How do you view where you are in life? Are you hard on yourself or able to give yourself some grace? If this is something you would like to explore further, feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you!