Is perfection a myth? | EVELYN
Oh, dear. Not that talk about perfection again.
Just the word used to make my skin crawl and my stomach churn, and it made my mind all bent out of shape as it would try to be what I thought I was supposed to be but could never be, because I was so damn human. Perfection used to sound like an impossible state that was only reserved for those other people who some divine being had so graciously graced with a perfection gene I somehow didn’t get, and couldn’t for the life of me seem to get my hands on.
Most of my life, I strived to be a perfect being. I wanted to be a perfect daughter. A perfect student. A perfect mother. I wanted to say the perfect things at the perfect time. I wanted to have perfect timing and to wear the perfect outfit. I wanted my make-up to be perfect, and for my skin to be perfectly smooth. I wanted my house to be perfectly clean. I wanted my kids to be perfect and I wanted so much to be perfect in my happiness and hipness and hotness—just perfectly and not excessively so.
But all this perfection mindset made me feel so exhausted, so blatantly and awkwardly imperfect, and like the most messed up person on the planet.
No matter how hard I tried, I could never ever live up to any of the crazy perfection stuff I put on myself. So I discarded that bad bad naughty intrusive word and outlawed it from my vocabulary and thinking and life forever and ever and ever. The end.
Or so I thought.
Now, you might be thinking that I’m going to say that perfect sucks. That perfection is an illusion. That striving for perfection is nothing short of the highest form of insanity, self-abuse, a complete and utter waste of time and energy, and that perfection can go to hell and never come back.
In fact, now more than ever, I am striving for perfection.
But not like I used to.
Recently, I have figured out what this ever elusive state of perfection is, and that it was not at all what I had thought (before my end-of-the-world crises).
My life changed the day (which actually was just a few weeks ago, but still, who’s counting?) I realized that perfection can’t be had in the outer world. It only exists in the inner realm. Recently, I have realized that perfection is very much in my grasp all the time, even when my life and house and hair look like a tornado just blazed though it (which is pretty much every day).
Cause here's the deal: Perfection has nothing to do with how perfectly clean my house is, or how silky smooth my legs are. It has nothing to do with staying perfectly happy all the time, or eating perfectly. And it’s definitely not about being perfect in the eyes of others or living up to outer expectations of what perfection looks like.
Perfection looks like this: Having said something really stupid, and being there for myself, forgiving myself, making amends, and loving myself and trusting myself through it. Or I didn’t eat healthy all week, but I didn’t beat myself up about it, but instead realized that I’m human and then forgive myself for my short-comings. Or it means I healed an inner wound, and that in the process, the pain and the healing and the releasing of it made me more of who I am, this cycle from pain to gain making me complete, whole…perfect. Or I gave myself sufficient grace for every moment. Or I honored my heart. Or I accepted myself wherever I was at the moment, happy, sad, or out of my mind frustrated. Perfection looks like making a big messes and loving myself even if I can’t clean them up. Or perfection happens when I allow the joy inside of me to come out. It happens when I allow the pain to be felt. It is being authentic and true and real. Perfection even means giving up when I feel I have to, surrendering to what is. It means allowing life to be what it is. It might feel like giving up, but it isn't. It's allowing. Receiving. Accepting.
So now, I strive to live in perfection. And I am happy to announce that I am successful pretty much every single day.
My house is still messy a lot. My legs aren’t always shaved. My diet might consist of coffee and chocolate and wine (well…that’s kind of perfection right there in every way….). I might not always live up to the standard I have for myself as mother or daughter or friend. I am excessively imperfect in the outer world, and always will be. But I live in wholeness within me, in love, acceptance and harmony, and I trust myself moment by moment.
My outer world will never be perfect. The outer world can never be. But inside, I feel whole. I am whole.
And what’s even more amazing is that through my imperfections, I bring myself into perfection.
So maybe you didn’t even know it, but you just might be perfect too.