Life Lessons Mental Health

What I need to say about the myth of perfection

the myth of perfection

Perfection simply doesn’t exist .. not in the way we are conditioned to believe anyway. I am far from perfect. It has taken me many years and many times of being broken open to accept this, and to embrace the imperfections. Do you feel when you look around that everyone else seems to have it all together? Filters make it easy to appear that way, technology allows us to choose what we share with the world. I think that by sharing the messiness and imperfections too we can eventually crack open this crazy myth of perfection.

It is hard enough some days to adult, parent and be the best person you can be .. let alone meet the expectation of perfection. A part of that expectation comes from within, other parts come from outside. They all combine to weigh upon your sense of obligation, how am I measuring up today? Am I a good enough human, parent and member of society?

Why can’t I just get over that anxiety, depression and ongoing sense of grief and loss? Do you ever feel ‘rushed’ to achieve lots of things, reach goals and milestones on your ‘journey’ in this wild ride of life?

I recently decided to bust the expectation from outside that I would always respond to emails ‘IMMEDIATELY.’ I feel this heavy burden as they ping their way into my world. I have been so organised for most of my life, and I have liked it that way. I realised that being organised does not always have to mean being constantly available.

Of course I found it hard at first to watch an email sit in the TO-DO folder I use for them when I simply want to DO it later. I watched a few people send me 2-3 reminders about the message that was sitting there, waiting until I was ready.

It was such a perfect example of the expectations that come from outside.

The world didn’t stop, the world didn’t end, when I took 2 weeks to get to one of them. It was not out of disrespect or loathing or anything sinister. It was my own small way of saying I want the world to slow down, and also I am not perfect.

I was so fascinated with the way that some people tried to push and push me into noticing them and their emails.

I did the same thing with my phone years ago, started screening calls and just not answering it when it rang unless I really needed or wanted to in that moment. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.

On perfection .. yes I edit my photos, I hold back from sharing every detail of my ongoing anxiety and depression. I have panic attacks of varying degrees most days. I still choose the bright side as often as I can. It is not about perfection though. It is about not wanting these things to define me. It is also about the simple fact that what I choose to focus on is what I experience.

I shout some days, I eat crap some nights, I don’t exercise enough and I am hard on myself. There is so much beauty in the act of trying again though, picking yourself up the next morning and knowing that you are enough.

I am imperfectly OK with not being perfect, and I hope you are too.

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