When did perfect become the new normal?
One day, I was walking down the street, and it really struck me. I noticed the lawn care companies working on flawless lawns, in front of picture perfect houses. I stopped and really looked at the scene of perfection. That same day, I had a conversation with a dear friend about our search for the perfect jeans and/or yoga pants. Don’t forget the perfect hair, the ‘ideal weight’, Mr. Right, on and on and on. It seems our ability to compare our situation (or ourselves) to others is never ending.
So, exactly when did perfect become the new normal? When did we decide that everything had to be *just right* in order to be good enough? Pushing through time and money just to meet the new standard that is ever evolving to an even higher standard. With almost everyone becoming miserable in the process.
So here’s the deal. I’m tired. Too tired to meet some unexamined expectation. I don’t have that kind of energy! I think it started years ago- the moment I became just plain tired of trying to be something I’m not. Something that is trying to meet someone else’s expectation. And typically that *perfect* something is not something I necessarily want or need! I’d much rather spend my time being who/what I want.
In fact, I delight in those things are not perfect.
My favorite mug has a crack and, well, it is my favorite.
My body has birthed two babies and looks different…and I love my body.
My house is mostly messy, with multiple projects in various stages of progress, and it’s perfect for us!
Our lives are far from “perfect” and I’m so grateful for all aspects. And sometimes I want to make things better too. The phrase I practice is “I love you exactly as you are…and I’ll help you be whatever you want to be.” Basically, I can accept what I have, who I am and where I am in life. AND if i want something different I can kindly and compassionately work towards that as well. I can look at what I want and see where it originates…from comparison? From lack?
Or from an honest desire for something more/different?
So what can we do?
Compassion is the best tool for making steps toward positive change. Through compassion we see what is there and we can see if we want to do something different because we choose to or because we feel we have to. Let’s go with the messy house example. I accept my house is messy. BECAUSE IT IS. Otherwise I’m arguing with reality. This occurs because I live a busy and full life. I don’t want to change my beautiful full and wonderful life, so I accept that messiness may happen. Often.
2) Small turtle steps.
Taking small easy and slow steps is the best way to make compassionate changes in life. A few weeks ago, I decided I didn’t have to clean the WHOLE HOUSE. TODAY. No! I decided that I could clean up one thing. Choose one small area. Or even choose one thing to put away each day. So much more compassionate to myself, and I noticed a decrease in the mess.
Compassion coupled with small and loving steps forward, we can accept ourselves exactly as we are while also allowing ourselves to be anything we might desire. Messy house and all :).
Peace and Acceptance,