Four Ways To Celebrate A Perfectly ImPerfect You
Perfect. Such a nice word. If only everything could be perfect, life would be much neater, cleaner somehow.
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines the word “perfect” as being entirely without fault or defect. Flawless. Satisfying all requirements.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
I spent so many years chasing that word, driven by that ideal. To be without defect. Flawless. I felt perhaps, that if I found this place called Perfect, that I would be free. I would arrive. I could breathe.
I would tell myself—
If only I could be taller…thinner…smarter…funnier
If my waist wasn’t so big…my rear so flat…my thighs so flabby
If I could be the perfect wife…the perfect stepmom…the perfect friend…
…then I would arrive, then I would be accepted, then I would be worthy of love.
I never realized how much damage, how much destruction this one little word, perfect,could do.
Most of us struggle to live out an ideal of what we think life should be, of who we think we should be. We struggle to get up out of bed for another day with our lists, our expectations, our goals. We set the bar so high, we could never attain. Never achieve – anything but sheer exhaustion. Emptiness.
Is this what God intended for us? Is this the abundant life He promised?
The drive for perfection will always leave us scraping at the bottom of the barrel. The pursuit of perfection will always leave us hopeless, drained, done.
So how do we overcome the insidious pull toward perfection? How do we find the abundance and peace we are so desperate for?
I have found four ways you can begin to celebrate the perfectly imperfect you - today.
Accept your imperfection.
Every time you find yourself starting to chase the rabbit-trail of ‘if-only’s,’ stop. You are powerful. You have a choice.
Begin to repeat instead:
I am …beautiful… right in this very moment.
I am …loved…right in this very moment.
I am …enough…right in this very moment.
I am …healing…right in this very moment.
I am …growing…right in this very moment.
Learning to accept all the parts and pieces of who we are and welcoming them inside our hearts instead of shaming them, is the beginning of freedom. We cannot develop a loving relationship with ourselves as long as we hate ourselves. We must release hate for love to flourish. For hearts to heal. CLICK TO TWEET For us to arrive at a place where we can look in the mirror with all of our dimples and dings, all of our scars and sagging skin (ugghhh), and celebrate them. Yes, celebrate them.
You are beautiful. Yes, you. Beautiful. CLICK TO TWEET
Yes, as an historic perfectionist, I long for control. I love control. Control allows me to believe that I am somehow powerful to determine my destiny. It creates an illusion that I can prove my worth. I feel a craving, a compulsion to hold everything within my domain. Somewhere within me, though I can observe this madness, the control is there, right beneath the surface, calling out to me.
Release control. Submit to the messy. Don’t hold things so tightly. Breathe into the unknown. Rest. CLICK TO TWEET In surrendering your will, your need to claim, to own, to control, you can settle into the here and now. Release the unknown to God. You are safe.
Create a life of compassion.
The cycle of shame is the gasoline that fuels our perfectionistic tendencies. I set unrealistic goals for myself. I make unreasonable demands on myself. At some point, I fail. Though failure is a normal part of life, for the perfectionist, failure signals an immense implosion of shame. Shame whispers my utter worthlessness. It pulls me hopelessly into the undertow of condemnation. It compels me to yet once again, set the bar higher, to push harder in the drive to be freed from this shame, to feel for once – peace.
Just as peace can never coexist with shame, compassion can never coexist with condemnation. Compassion diffuses the weight of shame and allows us to stop the pattern of self-condemnation. Perhaps this is why Romans 8:1 (NIV) details, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Perhaps God knows our tendency to strive, to shame, to cling to condemnation as a favored friend.
Compassion also means that we stop blaming others. We can never stop being victimized until we are ready to stop being the victim. We can never overcome oppression until we are ready to release our identity as the oppressed. Resist blame. Come face to face with failure. It cannot destroy you. It doesn’t define you. You are on a journey. You are becoming. CLICK TO TWEET
Consume a diet of truth.
John 8:32 (NIV) says,Then you will know the truth andthetruth will set you free. When we recognize the harsh, shaming, perfectionistic voice that hides deep inside our hearts, we can speak the truth to that voice. We don’t have to succumb to its pressure. We don’t have to yield to its ways.
We can claim our worth, our value in the midst of our imperfections. We can admit the reality that everyone is broken —yes everyone. It is only God’s great and majestic love for us that sees beauty right in the middle of our humanity. Our beauty never lies in perfection. Our beauty lies in all of the broken pieces that no longer hold us hostage, that no longer keep us hidden and disguised. Out of something broken God makes something beautiful. As God shines His light, His love, His glory through the jagged and prismed pieces of our lives, He creates the most amazing works of art.
If you have struggled with the word perfect, you are not alone.
Anna Quindlen, says, The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
You don’t have to stay chained to your lists, your expectations, your goals. Exchange them for love, for freedom, for compassion, for truth.
Celebrate imperfection. Release control. Create a life of compassion. Consume a diet of truth.
Then you will be able to ask yourself:
How can I honor my body today?
What does my soul need today?
How can I nurture my spirit today?
How can I love others well today?
This is what God desires for you. Discovering and becoming who God created you to be so that you can serve a world in need. Show them love. Show them Christ.
You won’t come up dry. You won’t be scraping the bottom of the barrel. You will experience fullness, abundance. You will know peace.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891