The Illusion of Perfection
July 2017 - Mindful Moments
The Illusion of Perfection
Our theme this month at Mindfulness Mothers is Summer, but several mothers have inspired me to write on something that affects all women all year round: perfectionism.
The meanie mom society we live in is not kept to movies and TV shows, we are often our own worst bully, saying things to ourselves which we would never say to another person. It all starts with expectations.
Our expectations of ourselves starts young. “Cross your legs and sit like a lady.”
“Grow up. Women don’t act that way. What are you, a tomboy?”
“Don’t you want to be a pretty girl? The boys will like you if you are a pretty girl.”
The brainwashing begins from young ages as to what it means to be a woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a person in the world who happens to have a bit more estrogen than testosterone. We then alter our behavior to match those expectations. We dress the way we are told to dress to fit into society. We do what we are supposed to do, based on what others guilt, shame, or coerce us into doing. We consciously or unconsciously adjust who we are based on these expectations, which we then take on as our own.
When we don’t meet those expectations, we are disappointed, we are angry, we are upset with ourselves. We bully ourselves into conforming. We shame ourselves into submitting. We guilt ourselves into surrender. And before you know it, we are becoming who others want us to be, not who we are.
We are human beings. We are human! There is no such thing as a perfect human that acts the exact way others want them to act. That’s called a robot. We are not robots. We are humans. We are perfectly imperfect in these crazy insanely alive bodies that act all sorts of different ways and do all sorts of different things. These are things we cannot control! These are things we cannot change. These are things often we cannot heal, we cannot fix, we cannot make better - for ourselves or our children, our spouses, our loved ones.
This is an imperfect world and we walk it in imperfect bodies.
But once we can accept that, we relax a bit more. And when you are dealing with motherhood, family, relationships, or even just work and life- that helps. That helps!
It helps to take a breath and accept that this body, this world is imperfect! We are imperfect. We will never be what we want to be exactly because perfectionism is just an unobtainable goal to keep us striving. Once we accept imperfection, we can relax a bit. We can move into acceptance. And by moving into acceptance, we can move into gratitude for now, for what is. We can move into allowing a new life, a life that may not look like what we want it to look like, that may throw so many curve balls our way it knocks us on our butts, but allows us to be more of who we really are. We can move into just being with what is.
And when we do that, life suddenly becomes a little more perfect. Reality becomes perfectly what it is: imperfect. And the illusion of perfection gets washed away in the tears, muddy boot prints running through your kitchen, baby diapers, and slamming doors reality of imperfection.
Through this mindful awareness we become kinder to ourselves. We become kinder to our children. We become more open to experiences that might not be what we expect, but can end of being some part of the wonderful multi- faceted life of being a human being, full of ups and downs and ins and outs, joy and grief and wonder and awe.
It can become better than an illusion. It can become life.
May you know that the person you are is perfect! Just as you are.
All my love - Jeannine
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Wed July 5th at NOON pm
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Check out the new articles from our Mindfulness Mothers’ authors!
- The Illusion of Perfection
- Powerful Garden Conversations
- Games to Play with Your Pets!
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