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  • Writer's pictureTracey Gates

My journey to imperfect

Liberating…..that is the word that comes to mind when I think about releasing the burden of perfection that I have carried for decades! Our imperfections are what makes us unique and beautiful and lovable. Chasing the elusive “perfect” means that we have so many missed opportunities for connection and I believe with all my heart that our relationships are the most important thing in our lives, starting with our relationship with ourselves.

My husband used to have a quote on his office that read “We wouldn’t worry so much about what others thought of us, if we realized how infrequently they actually do think of us.” All that time spent worrying about how you look, how your home looks, if you are smart enough etc. It is such a waste of time because…..everyone is just worrying about themselves and not even focusing on you!

We want the approval of everyone else so we feel accepted and validated. We want to be part of the cool crowd and be popular. We want everyone to think that our life is effortless and stress free, that our marriage is flawless, our children are super achievers and our jobs our easy and lucrative. The question is why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we strive for something completely unrealistic? Perfection, or the striving of perfection, is lonely. We don’t share our bad days or difficulties in fear of being judged. However, it is our imperfections that create connection and approachability. The only person who we need approval from is ourselves. Unfortunately, this is the last place that we look for approval.

Our “flaws” are what make us human. If you have had a bad day would you rather cry on the shoulder of a Stepford wife, or on the shoulder of Rebecca, the perfectly imperfect mother on TV’s hottest new hit This is Us? Rebecca makes the best decisions that she can at the time and she always comes from a place of love. She makes mistakes and often feels that her life is spinning out of control, but the chaos also fuels her and sustains her.

How empowering it would be if we could surround ourselves with people whose personal mission statement was simply to live their life making the best decisions that they could at the time and always coming from a place of love. This means ourselves too! Our best at the time doesn’t mean that everything will turn out exactly as we had hoped. It doesn’t mean that we get everything that we want. Coming from a place of love means practicing patience, forgiveness and compassion. Those are the characteristics that draw us to one another and make us human and relatable.

Think of all of the connections that we miss trying to pretend to the world that we have everything together all of the time! When we share our authentic selves with those we care about, we don’t feel so lonely. We feel supported and sustained and loved. Invite people in and share the good, the bad and the ugly. Feeling needed is a basic human need.

Don’t wait until you are 55 to figure out that you have been chasing the impossible. Embrace your authentic self and shine brightly, flaws and all. Release the judgement of yourself and others and practice always coming from a place of love. Start with yourself and then pay it forward. Share your bad day, your fears, your messy house with someone and exhale….it is so liberating! Treat yourself the way that you would treat your children and friends…with patience, forgiveness and compassion. You are worthy and perfectly imperfect just the way you are!

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