flawsome: (adjective) an individual who embraces their “flaws” and knows they are awesome regardless.

The human condition is flawed. We may like to think we’re alright, OK or even nearing perfection. We might even think we’re Ideal or Right. That we have the correct way of being and doing, according to our family, culture or religion. However, that just may not be true. More likely, it’s just a belief or opinion.

2019 has provided plenty of opportunities to re-view my experience of congruence and flaws. This year has demonstrated that life is unpredictable. My personal challenges have been many – with most of them resulting from my attitude, thoughts, beliefs and behavioural choices.

Upon reflection, I can now see that I chose to think in such and such a way, acted as I did, and got results that scared the hell out of me. I always feared I was vulnerable; 2019 proved I was. I was more fragile than I thought. It also proved I am tougher, more resilient and more flexible than I ever considered possible. If that’s true for me, then it is most likely true for others too.

Integrity is congruence between what you know, what you profess,
and what you do. Nathaniel Branden


 Accept yourself: flaws, quirks, talents, secret thoughts, all of it,

and experience true liberation. Amy Leigh Mercree

I particularly take to Branden’s definition: congruency is about the lining up of an individual’s values, knowledge and behaviours. In myself, I recognise that my life can be incongruent, where not everything is in accord; and I suffer for it. Most likely, it’s the being flawed at work. In following the flawsome approach, am I being congruent to my weaknesses? If yes, am I alone in this thinking, and behaviour? I guess I may not be.

Being honest enough to recognise I am not perfect, was a big step for me. I went from my own indecisions about truth and being “right”, to recognising with complete honesty, that actually, “I don’t know”. In fact, no one knows what’s next. Everything is just a hunch, until it actually happens.

And, that was my experience. Flawed beliefs meant I thought I knew what was going on. Behavioural arrogance and wilful blindness regarding my errors of judgement, led me to all sorts of interesting times – as the Chinese curse foretells. My inner self was incongruent with my life, my life choices and my self-care.

Despite my own disruptive choices, a miracle has kept me here to share, to reassure and to witness that there is always opportunity for/to change…

Since 20th July I’ve had two trips in an emergency ambulance, two visits to the emergency department of my local hospital, and one in-patient stay for emergency surgery. The first crisis was a blackout due to extreme high blood pressure (I was lucky that I didn’t have a stroke or heart attack) with a memory lapse of almost two hours. The second was for acute appendicitis.

Each crisis meant facing how fragile life is. I’m in the healthcare business, and I missed the signs of my health issues, only to find out in a dramatic way, or two, or even three. It took me being challenged by health crises to see my life differently. With hindsight, like so often in life, it’s possible to believe that I could, should or ought to have known better, seen more, realised more. But it proves I am just human.

In the absence of wake-up calls, many of us never really confront the critical issues of life.
Steven Covey

Life is often just us sitting in a place of (dis)comfort claiming we know how things are, or how they hang. A ‘hum drum’ existence that just keeps on keeping on. Until the challenges of crises drag each and every one of us out of the torpor of it all.

To be asleep to the rhythms of life, and not to see there are other options, places us in complex conundrums where we think we know the future and the truth of life. To recognise that we naturally carry imperfection, because we are but human, and to be honest and congruent about it, is normal.

No matter their cause, ‘wake-up calls’ shake our individual worlds. Each time they remind us of how uncertain things can be, and how well we do, or do not cope with them. They test the integrity within us to deal with our fears, our flaws, and to face what we dread: the anxiety of vulnerability, our loss of ourselves, our loved ones, or what it is we know as being our life.

The benefits and awareness that have spawned from my ‘wake-up calls’ are deeply valuable and evidence of my fortune in this world. Whatever happens next, I have a deeper gratitude for my past than ever before. I now see with a clarity that was missing before.

If you already recognise that you’re less than perfect, you may be able to skip the ‘wake-up calls’ inherent in this equation. Are you worried that you’re not living a life congruent with your inner self? If yes, and you want to discuss where these life flaws affect you, perhaps we could have a chat? You never know, it may just help…