How to Stop Sabotaging Our Imperfections – Stop Trying to Be Perfect
Nobody is perfect, right?
We hear this a lot. Yet, we are taught in our society to seek perfection, compete in all things, and strive to be exceptional, superior even.
But, when is good, good enough?
Doesn’t it get exhausting at a certain point?
We stress the shit out of our nervous systems and justify it as healthy ambition.
Why do we do it?
Is it the approval from dad or the thrill of feeling like we are the best if only for a day?
Who are we doing it for?
When will we feel satisfied?
In our hearts does it really matter?
Don’t most of us count the seconds until we can get home, put our favorite fuzzy slippers on, take off our bra, and finally relax?
After sabotaging my successes over and over again, I stopped and took a long look at the situation.
Were these things that I was working for really important to me or was I living someone else’s dream?
Who was I being every day because it was gradually feeling less like me…but who was this “me”?
I’d lost a sense of who I was somewhere between winning and losing.
I’d just become accustomed to the cycle but I wasn’t actually living anymore…not fully engaged anyway.
Who was this person I’d become?
She smiled and laughed but was she really happy?
She got promotions at work and reached her goals.
But did she feel fulfilled?
She gave to others but was she truly generous?
I’d been building an identity around myself for years, but it had become no different than the clothes I put on in the morning.
I’d been putting my less desirable traits and faults behind this armor, pretending they had nothing to do with me.
Trying to Hide Our Faults
We all have an idea of how we should be and anything that doesn’t match that gets pushed deep inside.
We are taught from an early age the “right” or “wrong” way to BE in every situation which for the most part serves us well.
We learn to respect and admire others that act in the same ways that match our ideals.
Our society has taught us what high class should like…
and then this happens…
Being a Mess
I pretty much came out a mess. I enjoyed my food full body style…
I rarely stayed upright because being on my head felt much more natural.
I was clumsy and actually broke my leg right when I was learning to walk so I learned to walk on the toe of my cast and normally on the other foot.
My mom enrolled me in dance at the age of 2, hoping it would help me learn grace.
She raised me to act like a lady, be considerate and never rage.
I would for the most part.
Then, situations would happen.
I remember dropping a green bean into the ruffle of my strapless dress on my first prom, ripping my formal dress and revealing ALL while at a country club dinner.
Then there was the time, at another country club dinner, I got a noodle caught between my nasal passage and my throat. Yes, this can really happen.
I tried everything to get it out with no luck while trying to stay classy.
It finally decided to come out while I was doing multiple spins on the dance floor (through my nose)!
So, there I was all dressed up and sparkly with spaghetti hanging out of my nose. True story.
As much as we may try to be our perfect idea of what we should be, life often has other ideas.
The more I tried to be like…
the more my life was made up of moments like this…
What we resist persists and that imperfect me was coming out one embarrassing moment at a time.
There was no stopping it.
There was a time, I journeyed for a power animal and what came to me was a big clumsy bird.
I remember asking if there was another animal that wanted to come to me. I got nothing.
This bird ended up showing me way more than I anticipated but that is another story.
I would try so hard to get everything right constantly!
Things would go smoothly for a while and then something would happened that left me feeling utterly incompetent in so many areas.
I was missing the point. I just judged myself more each time it happened.
We must learn to embrace our imperfections. How do we do that?
You dance when you feel like dancing,
even if it turns out like this…
Invite the scary parts in…with open arms, like a loved guest coming over for dinner.
These parts of us give us our unique flavor.
What if this guy would have just tried to be like everyone else?
Don’t you just love how he owns it?
And I adore this girl…
I realized that the only difference in them and me is acceptance.
They accept their flaws and even highlight them. Their flaws have become their assets.
That doesn’t mean we have to be funny or make fun of ourselves it is just accepting them. Loving them and finding our own assets within them…because of them.
When I started playing with this, I noticed feeling more like this on the inside
Each time I accept something that was unacceptable, I get a gift. I get the gift of calm, contentment, centeredness. I get a feeling of confidence in who I am.
I am no longer running away from me but sinking into me.
There is a strength the happens when we stop running away from ourselves. We turn and face it all.
If we feel small and weak inside, we acknowledge it, accept it, and learn to love it. We don’t have to like it right away.
We just start with acknowledgment and let it grow.
Then, a beautiful shift happens. By embracing feeling small, we end up feeling invincible.
I learned to love my clumsy big bird. Now, I am realizing the journey to loving myself has been my purpose all along.
My passion is healing myself by accepting all of it with open arms, like a loving mother.
It is okay to be a hot mess. It just means you are imperfectly human.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.