I know a lot of folks who work hard at being perfect and/or normal. Both of these things are fiction and if they weren’t, would you want to sit next to someone who is normal and perfect at a wedding? For me, the answer is no, in fact it is hell no. Voltaire said, “perfect is the enemy of good.” Yes, because perfect is a construct, it’s subjective, and again fiction… not unlike one size fits all.
Perfect is the enemy of progress, we get stuck trying to get something to fit to an ideal or esthetic that we believe will deliver us to perfection. Doing that stops the creative flow, discovery, learning and growth. Perfect is the enemy of all those things including compassion, happiness and the stuff that makes life worth living. I am not saying don’t strive for an ideal, what I am saying is have it be a benchmark on the way to what unfolds into something wholly and wonderfully yours.
Me, I strive for authenticity, which is a very over used word, but it fits in the moment. What I want to work at is to take what I feel and see on the inside and distill it, capturing my thoughts, my quirks, my individual vision of the world and share that as best as I can. I believe we are more similar than different so when I tell my messy truth it resonates more with others than when it is manicured and manipulated. Hopefully my messy truth opens a door to others embracing theirs, maybe even normalizing it. Making our imperfect selves the real prize.
Knowing who we are and what makes us tick is the gift. The opening to this is not shrinking from the idea we are flawed, messy and cranky humans who are full of contradictions, petty lies and great compassion. Settling into the potpourri of our uniqueness is where the good stuff is. Our connection to ourselves is our gateway to building good connections to others. Perfect is the enemy of that connection to self and others and can lead us to feeling lonely, that we are faking it and that we are not enough.
When we start making choices from our inner guidance system rather than outside influences, we start to come into alignment with who we are and our purpose in this world. Aligning our core values with our actions creates a harmony within us which trickles out into the world. Like throwing a pebble into a pond and watching those concentric circles ripple out.
Being in alignment with my values leads me to action which then creates a reaction and progress down my path. This is the dance with the universe that I do: I take a step and then it takes a step. I have found these steps are usually out of my comfort zone, pushing me to grow and change for the better and always lead me to more joy. Taking our values and direction from the outside world when we are seeking perfection through social media feeds and what others deem to be valuable will only lead us further away from ourselves and our true road and happiness.
What the pursuit of perfection gets us is anxious, self-loathing and miserable. Making choices based on crowd sourcing data leaves us depleted because we are seeking alignment with something other than ourselves. We are our own source of power, passion and energy which comes from plugging into ourselves, nature, the universe and drawing it in like water and air. In doing this our actions lead us to tribe, to true community, to those who align with the same values, passions and purpose. That community then naturally support each other in a symbiotic way along the journey.
Perfect is the enemy because it is a huckster, it leads us further and further away from ourselves. We are being led to believe that those in the marketing department have the answer for us if we look this way, sound this way, dress this way our lives will be better. Nope we will just be someone else who is not too happy and poorer for the journey. Perfect is the enemy because it deprives us the chance to fall in love with all of who we are, to give voice to our unique view, to explore the world and ourselves in a genuine way. Letting go of what we “should” be allows us to just be our beautiful, funny, thoughtful, creative, cranky, lumpy human selves and deeply connect to each other. What an amazing gift that is…
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