A lot of us spend a considerable amount of time trying to create “perfect”. The problem is that we are NOT perfect beings. If our expectations are so high that we can’t accept anything except perfection from ourselves or those around us, we need to figure out how to see things from a different perspective. The people who achieve the most success do so not from being perfect, but from doing– from making things happen, from making mistakes, from making a difference.
On the other side of trying to be perfect, is believing you ARE perfect. People who believe they’re perfect live in a place of:
“I’m always right”,
“the way I do things is the correct way”,
“my feelings are always appropriate because I’m perfect”.
Perfect people do a lot of judging:
“how could he think like that?”,
“what’s wrong with her that she dresses like that?”,
“how could they let their kids behave like that?”…you get the idea.
These folks might even belittle you, try to make you look stupid, or take ownership of a great idea that was actually yours. Some of them are downright mean and some of them are very nice.
If you believe (or decide) that you’re perfect, when a problem, concern or worry arises you don’t know how to work through it, assuming you even acknowledge it. After all, perfect people never have problems do they?
Accept that, as a human, you’re going to have challenges. You may be sad sometimes. You may get hurt. You may feel disappointment or fear. By living through this, rather than pretending it never happens, you honor your humanness, you solve problems, you learn things about who you are, and you grow into yourself.
There are times when even those of us who KNOW we’re not perfect do our best to create the illusion of perfection. We’re bombarded with messages from the time we’re very young that we need to be “better than” in school and sports. As children, we’re encouraged to color inside the lines and ignore our natural inclinations in favor of fitting in and doing it “right”. As we get older we learn to aim for perfection in work places and often in our social circles and in our homes. We compare our lives to everyone else we see (social media sure doesn’t help). We become a “project”.
We think we need to present to the world a manufactured package with:
perfect lives that include
perfect homes that are
perfectly clean (all the time) inhabited by
perfect people who have
perfect hair and
perfect clothes on
perfect bodies and speak with
perfect grammar while holding the
perfect glass sitting on the
perfect chair with
Whew….makes me exhausted just thinking about it!
“What seemed of great importance a week or two ago,
becomes a little moment as further on we go.
What caused so much worry one recent yesterday,
has vanished now completely along another way.
The little hurts that bother, the deepest sorrow too,
can never last forever, whatever we may do.
And so, what seemed important a week or two ago,
is something quite forgotten as further on we go.”
During this time of year, the desire to “create perfect” often goes into overdrive.
What are we going to put into our box of memories at the end of 2015? What’s going to be important as “further on we go”? I may be wrong but I don’t think it’s going to be the rug with the perfect vacuum marks, the 585th cookie that was baked or the eight gifts you gave each person that add up to exactly the same amount (I’ve done all three of these). I don’t think it’s going to be two Christmas trees with different themes (yep, I’ve done that too) or the 98 cards you hastily sent out with pre-printed address labels and pre-printed signatures (this one I’ve never done- if I send a card to someone I will always include a personal note and sign my name).
What I believe we will remember is this: the hands that were held, the children’s eyes that we looked into, the laughter shared with family and friends, the spirit that danced when we thought about what we were truly celebrating. It’ll be the “birthday cake for Baby Jesus”, the lighting of the menorah, the songs around the Christmas tree, the love that was shared.
I was told a story recently about a woman, in her late fifties, who was rushed into the hospital for an appendectomy. She woke up after surgery crying because of her concern for her husband. He was in the waiting room, with their daughter, worried about his beloved wife. This fifty-seven year old man left his home where he was being taken care of by his wife and hospice nurses. He very slowly shuffled in to comfort her, his pain pump around his neck, his body looking like he was decades older, with only days left to live. I imagine that, as I write this, he’s moved on to the spirit side. I believe that his little family would give anything to have had one more imperfect holiday together.
As we move into the end of this year, I encourage you to
be special (because you are),
do something amazing,
make a difference,
and be with the people you love,
while being perfectly happy with being perfectly imperfect.
©2015 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living
p.s. from “The Checklist from Z to A”: #37. Every night, before you go to sleep, think of three things that you’re grateful for; you’ll drift off with that being the last thing on your mind (and in your heart).