A Safe Place To Make Mistakes


I've been thinking a lot lately about apologies.

I make them all the time, and also probably not enough, oddly. Let me explain. I'm apologizing for all the wrong things -- and I think maybe you are, too.The doorbell rings, and an unexpected guest is on your porch. You love this person, but are also deeply ashamed that the clean laundry has devoured the couch, empty coffee mugs sit on the endtables, and an epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons is being waged on the floor (even though the kids are at school). Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. The first words out of your mouth are....(say them with me now), "Come in....I'm so sorry about the house, it's usually much cleaner!"Or a friend drives with you somewhere - "So sorry about all the Cheerios on the floorboards - it's such a mess in here lately." Or you snap a selfie with a friend and utter, "So sorry about my belly rolls. I just can't shake this baby weight."

Why are we apologizing for not living up to some standard of perfection that someone else has created?

Why do we allow ourselves to carry these burdens of shame for having lived-in lives and bodies? I'm not preaching at you from a mountaintop of enlightenment here - I'm with you in the trenches, fighting off those demons too.Yesterday, in particular, was pretty rough. I ended the day with a nice hot bubble bath and a book (as all days should end, in my opinion), which happened to be this one. And there it was, unassumingly sitting there under the heading "How To Create Intentional Spaces" -- the unexpected paragraph that spoke right to this issue:

"If I want my home to be a safe place to make mistakes, I'll lower my standards formyself first, be forgiving of my own mistakes, and allow others to see me laughingat myself. I'll display and use the imperfect in my home. That spelling test wherehe made a C but did his best? On the fridge. The frame with the broken glass? Putit on the wall; it still looks great. The leather chair with the rips? It's loved and useddaily. I don't point out and apologize for those imperfections. I embrace, love, andenjoy them." - Myquillyn Smith, The Nester.
I want more than almost anything to BE a safe place to make mistakes; to be a person that people can feel free to be real around. I want that for my work as well - if I could choose between taking the perfect photograph that wins all the prizes for being the icon of photographic excellence OR taking a photograph that shows someone that their chaotic, messy "little" life is incredibly beautiful and important, I would choose the latter every single time. I have no use for perfection; perfection doesn't change the world.

So I challenge you to take a little break from the apologies.

Stop apologizing for the way you look, the weight you carry, the mess in your home. There are so many things that are SO much more worthy of your time and energy - and as they say, "those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."In the words of Glennon Doyle: carry on, Warriors."A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes, and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it's ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it." ~ Cassie Fox

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__________________________Emily Lapish - Life is beautiful, life is art.   Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte. To book your birth or family session, or to schedule a free consultation, click here