(A friend took this picture in Wyoming. I will say baby bears ARE perfect)
“Life’s not perfect” was my mom’s reply to everything that I felt ever went wrong. It used to make me so mad as I found myself having this pervasive need to achieve perfection. If I achieved perfection, everything about me and my life would be amazing and wonderful, right? WRONG!!! Perfection isn’t achievable, and it’s frankly completely boring, yet so many people I know search for perfection or try to portray perfection. I know I did. I wanted everyone to know that my life was perfect. I had perfect clothes, a perfect house, a perfect car, a perfect child…. None of it was perfect in anyway, and reality was, the more perfect I tried to make it, the more miserable I was. I was drowning in debt for having to have perfect things, I hated my body as I couldn’t make it perfect no matter how much I starved myself, jumped on a fad diet, etc., and I began to resent my child and even fear him as he was so imperfect. It all made me feel like one HUGE failure.
Let’s fast forward to now. I find people who portray perfection or live perfection complete phonies. It’s simply not possible. I have “friends” on facebook who make their lives look so fabulous on every level, but I also know some truth behind those posts. My friend may be standing in a different foreign country on a fantastic vacation often, but what she doesn’t tell you is her intense struggle with depression. Or my friend who has a “perfect” family, but her husband regularly cheats on her. Or my friend that just relapsed on heroine, but her face is smiley and gorgeous for facebook and most everyone in all these people’s lives. I get you don’t discuss your struggles with every person you meet, but at least be real that you do. Since I’ve started telling people that I have been seriously struggling with so much, people have been cruel, BUT people have also been intensely amazing. People appreciate my honesty, and I’m receiving so much help from people I never would have imagined had I stayed quiet and silent and pretended things were perfect.
This evening, I went to my gym to swim laps. I went and sat in the spa after and this woman and I struck up a conversation. It turns out, she struggles with so much of what I do. She has autoimmune issues, and chronic pain, and weight issues, and emotional struggles, and as she stood there and talked to me for over an hour and a half, I kept looking at this imperfect being and so in awed and honored that I got to meet her and that she was so real. Her real ness and rawness and authenticity were what made her so perfect!
When I was in trauma treatment, I came up with a quote, “There is perfection in imperfection”. It is true on every level.
Today, I challenge you to not portray perfection. Tell someone you are struggling, or perhaps be there in an authentic way for someone else. Our connection as imperfect humans is what will ultimately lead to great perfection!