How many times have you apologized for your house being less then perfect when you have a friend or guest come over?
Ya... me too!! And whyyyy??? Why do we feel the need to apologize for something like this to someone who we welcome into our home, who is most often a family member or friend? We have this need to appear perfect - perfect clean home - perfect clothes - perfect performance - perfect bodies .... what could possibly happen if we allowed someone to walk into our home and there was a speck of dust? Oh no! They might judge us - or worse - decide to not love us or accept us anymore - but that is such an irrational thought - most likely they wouldn’t think twice about it or even notice ... and if they did judge - then is this a person we really want to keep as company? I mean think about it though... how many times have you walked into a home and had someone apologize to you? How did you really feel? Like it was the silliest apology ever and you gave no flying fucks if the throw blanket wasn’t perfect right? Yet we spend time painfully worrying about what someone will think of our less then perfect life... when the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect life...
I love how Author Rene Brown explains that perfectionism isn’t something we either have or don’t - there is a continuum and we all fall in this continuum somewhere and sometimes in various spots depending on different circumstances. Some of us might strive to be a perfect (insert here... mom, dad, daughter, wife, sister...) while others might strive to have the perfect image - or the person who has it ALL together all the time, hair in place, shoes shined, and trendiest new clothes. Yet others might loose themselves in the quest for perfect performance - perfect at our job, perfect student, perfect athlete... and the list goes on.... but striving to be our BEST and be committed to a growth mindset is vastly different from striving for perfection. Perfect doesn’t exist - no where on the continuum... and striving for it - only holds us back, breaks us down, and sometimes gives us a reason to beat ourselves into the ground .... aiming for some arbitrary idea of perfect shows us an illusion of falling short, enhances our feelings of not enoughness, and keeps us stuck in a cycle of judgement. Not to mention it is just exhausting (trust me - I know!) What’s worse is when you get the case of perfection seeking accompanied by goodism - the need to also be the all around perfect good person - make sure your always nice to everyone everywhere and people like you.
Ugh - not everyone can ever always like us, and sometimes (scratch that - ALL the time) we need to be more worried about being GOOD TO OURSELVES, not everyone else ... now I’m not saying be harmful to anyone else or bad to anyone else, and by all means never hurt anyone on purpose or do things with malicious intent... but every single time we are more worried about what other people think and how we appear, we are being so cruel to our own soul... the side of us that wants us to stand up for who we are and to value ourself and love ourself and have compassion for ourself, flaws and all... so while we are so worried about everyone else we turn against the person who matters most ... and this is sad.... this leads to a host of physical ailments - when the body can’t take the rejection anymore - and it needs to be heard ... when unrecognized emotion builds up inside and explodes... when we don’t achieve what we are truly capable of and use our gifts and talents because we are stifled from the fears - we limit our potential - and we sell ourselves short. We hurt ourselves. And this makes me sad ... sad for other people and sad for myself ...
I truly desire so strongly to live in a world that chooses love - love for ourselves and love for each other - but I understand that ALL change begins within. And I understand that the best way I can make a difference in this world is learn how to be the change - learn how to fully love and embrace myself, all of me, flaws and all... while always staying committed to evolving on this soul journey - loving me through every step of the way with compassion. This is how I can create space for, and role model, for others to do the same.... so here I am still trying to just learn about it, interpret it, understand it, integrate it, and live it ... One. Day. At. A. Time. My current mission - more self love - what will it take to get there? A LOAD more compassion and a lot less perfectionism, goodism, and virtually every other ism ... but loving compassion for where I am today, acknowledging how these behaviors show up in my life and having a desire to grow through them and into joy and acceptance. Have you given yourself permission lately to be less then perfect? Have you given yourself loving compassion? Have you forgiven yourself? Have you spoken loving kindness into your own heart? Have you given yourself a hug? Remember - we are all in this together ....experiencing the essence of humanness ... the good the bad the ugly - the happy the sad the hurt - all of it ... it’s all just all of us being human - and none of us are alone.
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