Good morning friends : ) Happy Monday.
I have a bit of a different post today. It’s all about the elusive chase to perfection. Have you ever found yourself so consumed by being “perfect?” I can admit that I have, and I wanted to share some thoughts on that today.
So, let me jump in by saying that I consider myself a pretty damn positive person. I look on the bright side 98% of the time, and the other 2% is when I need to have a pity party before I can move forward. You know those days where everything is going well, and then at the last minute something goes sideways and throws you off track? That was me last Thursday. The work day was awesome, then suddenly, at 5 o’clock (when I am finished work), all these problems suddenly arose and I stayed an extra half an hour to fix them. Yes, staying late is my choice and I am happy I did because I got everything figured out. However, why couldn’t I snap myself out of the bad mood that followed? That mood carried on until I got home and put myself to bed. It’s hard not to beat yourself up for being in a bad mood and your inability to shake it. It’s not bad to feel that way. That’s life, and sometimes that happens. The rest of the time though, we can’t punish ourselves for feeling. There is no such thing as perfect.
Wait, what? Think about it. What is perfection? Why do people chase perfection? Perfection is all in your perception. When I was in high school I was in a pretty shitty relationship where I took out my feelings on myself. When I was feeling overlooked or ignored, I would exercise like crazy to feel like I was in control. I would eat SUPER healthy to, again, feel like I was in control. I was chasing some kind of “perfect” image that I didn’t even know what it looked like. It took me a long time to come to terms with not only my own behaviour but the fact that I was only in control of myself and not the actions of others. Of course, this involved a lot of work on myself and breaking things off. You are not obligated to stay in any situation that does not serve you. I know it can be easier said than done, but it takes a huge amount of courage to stick up for yourself and be your own kind of perfect, even if that means working on yourself first. You can read more about my body image journey here.
I think back to my life five years ago. Now I am in a much better place where I embrace myself, as I am, here and now. We are all human. The search for perfection is an aimless search that does not amount to anything. You don’t suddenly FIND perfection sitting in the bottom of a pot of gold. You don’t look around and suddenly see “PERFECTION!” in flashing lights. No, you have to create your own perfection, whatever that looks like for you. An example of this is spending a day off doing exactly what you love to do. That’s pretty perfect, hey? My definition of perfect is no longer a physical aesthetic. My life and my self-worth is so much more than that. Love yourself enough to value something other than looking good or being financially abundant or whatever it is. When I am 80 years old I don’t want to look back on my life and be sad about how much time I spent trying to have six-pack abs or the most perfect skin or this or that. I want a life full of memories, whether they are perfect or imperfect.
That brings me to my whole point here. Your time, your love, and your attention are worth so much more than wasting that energy on a so-called perfect life. We are surrounded by SO MUCH STUFF that tells us what PERFECT is. Have you read magazine headlines? “Get perfect abs! Get perfect hair! Get a perfect butt!” Thanks, but my abs and my hair and my butt are perfect already – my kind of perfect. We are all works in progress, and we don’t need social media dictating what our lives SHOULD look like. No, you live the life you want to live. That being said, my life right now is pretty perfect to me, by my own definition. I have a loving partner in crime and together we have a home that is filled with so much happiness. I am grateful for everything I have in my life, even on the bad days, because I know that deep down, it is what sets my soul on fire. I love our cat Simba, our first fur baby, and I love our dog Nala who brings so much joy to my life. I have a job that supports me and great co-workers who make me laugh. I am surrounded by amazing friends and family who allow me to be ME. I have a body that is physically able to help me carry out the activities I love to do, and I am able to give to others, live a fulfilling life, and make my own choices. And this is only a fraction of the book my life! Maybe it’s not your perfect life but it is mine.
If you take one thing away from this I hope you remember to live life on your own terms – not by what society tells us we have to do. No, we don’t have to do anything because that’s the beauty of life. If you don’t like something, step back and change directions. You are not stuck in one place; you are not a tree! Think of two things that you are so grateful for in this moment and revisit those when you feel the chase to perfection creeping in. Or, hug your dog, your love, your mom, your dad, hug your damn self!!, and smile because here you are. As you are right now. Alive, living this thing called life, as perfectly imperfect as it is.