You Don’t Have to be Perfect
Oprah and Dr. Brené Brown were the first to help me understand that you don’t have to be perfect to receive the best life has to offer. Regardless of what your mother, mother-in-law or anyone else in your life thinks – including yourself.
With the holidays literally around the corner, as a recovering perfectionist, I know how loudly that voice inside can scream saying that we can’t have people over without having everything perfect, and we definitely can’t go to any gatherings without having the perfect hostess gift, outfit, you name it. The reality is that’s not a positive move toward self improvement. It’s just our ego rearing it’s ugly head trying to convince us that we’re not worthy of doing or receiving x, y, z (compliments, love, understanding, compassion, etc.) until we look like a super model, have on the perfect outfit, our house is squeaky clean, etc., which is why I wanted to share Alanis Morrissette’s song Perfect, which highlights this very point.
I’ve always been drawn to this song because everything shared seemed familiar, yet I knew that just wasn’t the best way to live life. And if you’ve followed any of the Become What You Believe meditation series, which I recapped recently, we’ve begun the process of understanding that we are perfect, whole and complete exactly as we are, at this very moment. And as such we need to grateful for what we have to offer, rather than focusing on those things our ego says we should be able to offer.
Dr. Brené Brown says that such perfectionism is a protection mechanism we use to keep from being hurt, but in reality it just keeps us from being seen. It comes from an ultimate fear of being seen as we are, and not measuring up. As a result, we use it as our shield, to avoid or minimize shame, blame, judgement.
I know that’s the case for me. A lot of people who know me admire my confidence and ability to stand my ground, however that’s a huge juxtaposition for my fear of being judged and not measuring up. That’s why I’ll always point out my weaknesses before anyone else can or just hang back and not say anything, which keeps me from being seen and being vulnerable enough to truly experience the beauty, love, and happiness the world has to offer.
The great thing I’m learning about imperfection though, is that it’s the only true universal language because no matter how hard you try not to be judged, you can’t control the actions of others. We can however, control how we choose to live our life. And in allowing ourselves to be seen and heard as we are today, not as our ego wishes we were, we connect with the power of the universe and with humanity, through our vulnerability. We all have unique gifts to share with the world, and instead of judging them in ourselves and others, we should embrace them with gratitude, in the moment. Because for as much as we think we can control our future by being perfect every second of every day, one never truly knows what tomorrow will bring. All we can do is enjoy, because who we are at this very moment, is exactly who and what we are meant to be. Once we accept that with gratitude, and allow awareness in, we’ll be able to tap into the unlimited power and light within.
What negative/perfectionistic thinking will you let go of today? What are you grateful for today?