Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tied up in Knots

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
-- Anna Quindlen

I was surprised by the response to yesterday's post. It seems that many of us feel that we are the loner much of the time, different and outside of normal. I thought it was just me. It is ironic that we may feel excluded by our differences, yet in our feelings we are experiencing the same thing.

My current morning reading, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown, speaks to the universal human desire for love and belonging. We want to be in the bucket, with the other flowers. The irony, she points out, is that we often strive to achieve love and belonging by fitting in and "hustling for worthiness" and acceptance. When we strive to fit in, acting like we think others want us to act, we no longer honor our authentic selves and we short circuit any true connection. She says, "... To fully experience love and belonging, we must believe we are worthy of love and belonging."

In the light of that lone flower, we must each embrace our own differences and take them to heart. Stand alone with confidence in our own value and worthiness. When we say, "Here I am, with all of my quirks and differences, take it or leave it," we are accepting ourselves as we are. From that grounded place, when we reach out to others and feel a connection, the connection is real. It is whole. It is sustainable, because there are no pretenses to keep up.

Have you ever tried to keep up pretenses in a situation? Yeah, it ties you up in knots. After a while, you don't know which direction you are going. You don't know where you are, in the midst of it all. It's not sustainable.

I'm learning, again and again, how important it is to occasionally stand alone, in order to be myself. Whether it is in my art, sharing the photographs I love regardless of technical perfection or perceived photographic ideals, in my relationships, being honest about who I am and what I need, or even at my corporate job, sharing an opinion that may be contrary to the group, I have found the result of standing alone and embracing my differences is true connection. Instead of connection built on the unstable ground of insecurity, it is connection grounded in confident stability.

When I value myself for who I am, others value me too. Go figure.

To all of you who identified with that less-than-perfect lone flower I say: Congratulations. All you need to do now is untangle the knots and stand tall, confident in your uniqueness. Not an easy process, I know from ongoing experience, but so worth it. The reward I have found is connection, with people who are equally as unique, like you.


What's going on around Kat Eye Studio...
  • Did you recognize today's photo as a triadic variation? The current Exploring with a Camera theme is The Color Wheel: Part 2. Check out the post and join in the exploration.
  • Are you ready to get your camera off of full auto and see what you can create? Registration is open for Digital Photography Basics! Class starts October 16. Visit here for the details.
  • Want to know what's going on in the studio? You can subscribe to the Kat Eye News to stay up-to-date on all the happenings.


  1. beautifully put,, I so do relate,, oh yes I do,,

  2. Your post resonated with me too, Kat. Most of my life I've been independent and chosen a different path than the one most of my peers selected. It's led to some lonely times, but made me self reliant and more self confident. It is wonderful to find a kindred soul, who values uniqueness and accepts us for who we are.

  3. This post brings to mind one of my favorite quotations, from C. S. Lewis:

    "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

    As you pointed out, Kat, it's only when we are being ourselves that those real connections are possible.

  4. Such contrast to the lone flower....all these knots and the wire mesh trap bound together. Sometimes we stand alone, sometimes we join in with the rest. My friend reminds me often "balance and perspective". I think she's right.
    Love the way you think, my friend!

  5. I have found that I'm very comfortable in my own skin & being Myself... what I have found though is that often, if you don't conform to the norm, it can create more discomfort in others than in Self. *winks* But I must confess, that in discovering the Land Of Blog it truly was refreshing to connect to Kindred Spirits and realize there were many more people like myself out there than I ever imagined... who 'got me' and didn't see the differences as abnormal, strange, odd, eccentric... because it was their 'norm' too. *Smiles* Finding those who share your Passions, Loves & Lifestyle is a Rush & I've made many new Friends to share with.

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. A brilliant post! I have days when I want nothing more than to be in that bucket, but then I have days I remember that I like standing outside a little apart from what I perceive as the bucket. I'm hoping age and experience will bring more of the latter type of days.

  7. I've got that book too, and I need to read it!


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