Do you remember as a child when you were first learning how to do something. Almost always we were cited the universal mantra of "Practice Makes Perfect". We would hear this statement and we would keep plugging away until we either mastered what we were attempting or we gave up. Little did we know that perfection was just a fallacy. Perfection really doesn't exist.
So we grew up with this notion in our minds that society requires us to fit into a certain mold in order to be accepted. We have to be thin enough, pretty enough, wealthy enough, successful enough, together enough, etc., etc. The unfortunate part was that we gave little time and attention to what "Enough" really meant. Whose enough were we living up to?
As we have gotten older, an unfortunate side affect has unknowingly accompanied us, and it is the feeling of Shame. We feel shame that we are not able to live our lives up to the standards that someone else has set that we believe we have to maintain.
I remember feeling shame when my children were younger that I wasn't that perfect PTA Mom. I didn't attend all of the school concerts, or bake cookies when it was their day to bring snacks, join them on the school field trips, or have them enrolled in multiple after school activities.
My reality was that I was a fulltime working mom so I didn't have the opportunity to do all of these things, let alone afford them. That was where my Shame kicked in. Shouldn't I want to do all of these things? Wasn't I supposed to be that perfect cookie cutter Mom? Wasn't I suppose to be able to juggle a career, a home and 3 children. What was wrong with me? Shouldn't I have had it down pat with the 3rd child, after all Practice Makes Perfect? Even though my reality was that I really didn't enjoy most of those things I still felt that to be the Perfect Mom I had to do them. I was caught in the Shame Cycle.
I unfortunately didn't understand the Shame cycle that I had allowed myself to be swept up in until just recently. What I have learned is that I have a choice, I can continue to search for Perfection like the world tells me I should (beware of Social Media), or I can choose to live my life according to my own measuring tape. I can make myself miserable by trying to make everyone else around me happy by not being my authentic self, or I can embrace myself and all of my imperfections and flaws, and be happy.
The choice at the end of the day is ours as to what our Enough really is, I have decided that I choose my happiness over societies temporary approval, because I know that Perfection really is just a Myth.
So today, forget about trying to be perfect. Just for today lets practice self-compassion and self-acceptance in it's place. Those are the Practices that we need to make Perfect.