Today I am making the long overdue decision to free myself from perfection.
As I spent the morning in tears, I realised that this emotional eruption has once again all come from this need to be the ‘perfect’ person. The perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect sister, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect weight, the perfect Mum to one very demanding fur baby, the perfect light-worker and even the perfect loader of the dishwasher….you name it, I want to be perfect at it! Everything I do is steeped in this deep desire to please, to be liked, to be enough and to some how prove to others that I am worth the air I breathe or their investment, and it is becoming exhausting!
I am not perfect, far from it, and I don’t claim to be. I make mistakes, I try too hard, I overthink, I care far too much about the feelings and opinions of others and my self-talk is very cruel. I remember feeling ‘imperfect’ from the age of 2, and different and on the outside every year since that tender age. Never really sure, even to this date, just why I don’t fit in or just how to channel my shadows and imperfections into something to be proud of. But what I am now realising is that perfection is an illusion. Something that can only be represented as a hypothetical carrot that dangles just that tad out of reach in front of you. Yet the reality is that that carrot is further than you think. In fact that carrot doesn’t even exist! Magnify this unrealistic perfection with my Bach type being ‘Pine’, and you have a recipe for disaster. For when I feel less than perfect or a situation doesn’t quite go to plan then I will revert to my tendency to blame myself and to punish myself by moving that perfect carrot even further away from my reach.
Perfection comes from a source of comparison. If you didn’t compare the beautiful rose to the rose with noticeable marks and defects then you wouldn’t even know what a beautiful rose was. For every rose would be on an equal playing field and beautiful in its own right, just as it is. The rose becomes flawed and criticised because it doesn’t shape up to its blooming neighbour. And here lies the problem. Stop the comparisons and you therefore stop the ideal of what perfection is.
Sure we all need to strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, but does that mean striving for perfection?
What does perfection even look like anyway?
Does it have a colour, a face, a name, an identity, a certain size body, or perhaps a minimum amount of tasks that we should excel in? Is there such a thing as the perfect skill or talent to validate our placement on the Perfect-ometer? When you reach perfection do you graduate with some kind of honours and a certificate that tells the world you did it, you achieved a perfect state. NO! of course not. And that’s why it seems madness that so many of us want to be perfect, when we already know full well that there is no such destination as “Perfectsville” and perfection is simply subjective and a state of peace within ourselves. It’s a ridiculous notion that so many of us hold on to and today I have decided I am ending my relationship with it and I am starting an affair with being perfectly imperfect!
I have lost count of the number of years that I have tried to be what I thought I needed to be. I have behaved in ways that danced to everyone else’s tune apart from my own, and as a result I have reinvented myself time and time again following what felt like failure. And when you strive for perfection, the fall is always that much harder to take. I simply decided today that I cannot cry any more tears or mourn the loss of the ‘perfect Ami.’ I cannot feel that I am less than acceptable as a human because of how someone else see’s me or interprets my words or behaviours. I cannot strive to be this being of light who doesn’t hurt, feel pain or have opinions and needs. I am human, and albeit a human in service, I am making mistakes and learning just like everyone else, and that is a fundamental part of life and any healing journey worth being on.
They say that the circles in which you keep make a difference to how you feel. Surround yourself with positive people and you will feel positive. Surround yourself with negative people and you will feel negative. Whilst I agree (particularly as an empath) that the energy around you has a huge affect on your mood and behaviour, I also realised today that if their aren’t nerves to hit then people can’t hit them! Whilst I am going along, subconsciously striving to be this perfect person who everyone will like, I am exposing myself to harder falls and more criticism. The main factor there, is that as I feel everything BUT perfect, I am too emotionally reactive and responsive to said criticism and judgements…because these people are only mirroring the negatives I feel about myself and highlighting the flaws in my own perfect plan. So rather than just be selective of my circles, I need to continue to work on the rawness of my wounds and tend to the idealised perfection that seeps from this opening. I need to learn to embrace my shadow sides rather than hide them or be ashamed of them. I need to understand that it’s none of my business what people say or think about me, nor do their opinions and misjudgements define me. I define me. I need to be at peace with myself. I need to find perfection in my wholeness.
Sometimes in a world of modification, air-brushing, filters and show reels it seems as if we are all fighting a losing battle to expose and challenge perfectionism. For we purchase flowers for our homes that only look ‘perfect’ and like they have plenty of life left in them, celebs continue to have their unique body scars and marks ‘touched up’ in photos in order to appeal to a larger audience and we live in a time when even a fruit or vegetable can be genetically modified or enhanced! Nothing seems real anymore, so how do we learn to accept our perfectly imperfect selves, when it seems just about everything around us is still so outwardly striving for perfection and a mass market.
It was Dr Seuss who said:
‘Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no-one alive who is you-er than you!
How amazing is that quote?! Those simple lines serve as a reminder that we are who we are, and the very fact that there is no one who can be “you-er than you” just shows how perfect and individual we already are.
If you are feeling less than perfect today, please be kind to yourself. Chances are your light is so much brighter than you could ever imagine, just as you are.
Yours in love and unashamedly imperfect light,
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