No matter where we are in life there seems to always be this allure of perfection somewhere else. While many of us will claim that we know there is no such thing as perfection, we still will always say there are ways that we could be better. Or more specifically, DO things better. Our society is structured that way (eg. Grades in school; job performance reviews) or we will seek it out (eg. Lifestyle magazines; gossip websites). There appears to be need for those around us that we are constantly seeking something more….even if that more can never define what that is. So how do we break this cycle of striving for an unattainable state, especially when those around us are using that to measure themselves?
Well, to begin, we have to actually accept that there is no such thing as perfection. While this is a simple concept and easy to intellectually understand, it can be incredibly difficult to put into action. We all have different ideas of a “perfect” life or what will make us happy. Usually it’s the inclusion of something….time, money, love, etc. We seem to feel lacking and try to control things to gain more. Yet there is never enough. Or maybe we just need to do more or be more in order to reach that perfection. For those, we have to accept that doing our best will always be less than perfect and that is OK. We have to accept that and embrace it.
Also, we have to fully acknowledge the moments in our daily life where we feel less than. Honestly examine what emotions come up when you are running late. Or maybe forgot something. Which particular emotions are coming up? How do you express those emotions? And what stories are you creating to justify feeling that way?
For example, you forgot that it was early dismissal from school for the kids today and you got caught up in work and were 15min late to pick them up. What does that trigger in you? Are you stressed, rushing, and driving fast? Did you feel the need to explain or apologize? If so, who did you apologize to…just the kids or other adults? Was there a story of being judged by other parents or teachers? And if so, what story was created to explain why their judgement would impact your life?
Furthermore, we have to practice kindness to ourselves. If we do not judge ourselves for imperfections or imperfect actions, others’ opinions will not define us. We are the only ones who can define who we are and no matter how hard we try we cannot, and will never be able to, fully control what others think of us. Let go of creating the stories that others have of you. Act in freedom from the weight of having to think for others. Act towards yourself that you wish others would.