|"Perfect: 2" 2011, acrylic on canvas, 8" x 10"|
David Culver, amazing artist
I think we all struggle with trying to be "perfect" from time to time; but isn't it true that some of us actually make it a full time job?
(...I feel sTreSs coming on just writing that!).
Do you feel like you have to be
Do you expect others to be
Do you expect others to be
What does that mean, anyway?
- Some kids are so stressed about being "perfect" that they show me their work over and over, asking, "Is this okay?" (and repeating the same question over and over throughout my English class). Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?
- Other kids are so scared they won't get an "A" that they get stuck, like, on a writing assignment, before they even begin...these kiddos sometimes sit in my class and are kind of paralyzed from the beginning. Painful, huh?
- Another way this shows up is with kids who pretend they don't care, or say the assignment is stupid, so they make excuses about why they won't even try the assignment. They would actually rather not even try than maybe not do it perfectly. This is a really tough one!
My heart goes out to all these kids. I GeT iT, because I did that stuff when I was in school, too (but not the third one, because I tried to be so "perfect"that I would have never disobeyed a teacher or turned in a late assignment).
What's the deal, anyway?#!
Where do we get the idea that we need to do everything perfectly? Like, have perfect bodies, look perfect, act perfect, feel perfect (in other words, not ever have negative feelings)? I don't get it.
(insert deep belly breath, here . . .)
Trying to be perfect is pointless because we can never get there! It doesn't exist because we are human and we screw up! (surprise!...Note: Your parents are human, too, so don't expect them to be perfect. either. Thanks!)
Anyway, I know now that to be human is to be imPERFECT... and THAT is PERFECT! (and it takes the pressure off, too.!). That means accepting things just the way they are, even if they're not perfect.
I've noticed that when I resist what IS, I create HUGE StReSs for myself. Honestly, I create this stress by how I think about it--which means, I do it to myself (kind of like the inner mean voice, remember?). Yikes, that means I'm responsible and I'm the one who has the power to change . . . change how I think about this stuff! (oh, that's kind of a relief, actually). . .
Here's how: for example, if I am waiting in a long line:
- I can sit there and get mad and start making up stories, criticizing what is going on and complain about the situation. And guess what? If I look for crappy stuff about the situation, I just see more and more evidence to back my made up stories or thoughts and that will make me miserable! As Eckhart Tolle writes, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” ― A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
- Good thing I have a choice! I would rather stand in line and look around, smile at others, make conversation with people around me, plan an adventure, and enjoy myself! I get to pick my own reaction! Whew!
I'm so glad I'm finally getting that perfection doesn't exist...that helps me breathe better. And it allows me to be more accepting of others (for not being perfect) and myself (for not being perfect), too.
When I focus on growing from situation (instead of doing everything perfectly), I can live a happier life! Being PERFECTly imPERFECT!
Lots of LoVe!