I love the mantra that says, “I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to be me.” And as my 37th birthday approaches, there’s something about this particular mantra that feels extremely liberating.
I remember my grandmother use to tell me that there was a sense of freedom in growing older and wiser. And for the first time in my life, I’m beginning to understand what she meant. Don’t get me wrong, if you would have asked me a few years ago if I would be this comfortable and content knocking on 40’s door, I think my immediate answer would have probably been no.
However, I realized something pretty magical the other day. I realized that with every gray hair on my head, every laugh line, and every freckle on my face, I’m not only reminded of where I’ve been but how grateful I am to be here now. And let me tell you, for a multi-racial girl who grew up in the mid-west and never quite felt like I fit in, I’ve come a long way.
Now don’t get me wrong; sometimes it’s still a challenge for me to be present. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to show up especially when life gets the best of us, or our bodies start to mature and parts of our identity evolve or simply fall away. But the idea of perfection or the need to be anything other than who we are, will always keep us feeling small.
As a recovering people pleaser, I have no qualms in saying that I have struggled with the need to be perfect and the need to please. Of course, the need to be a perfect people pleaser was and always has been a result of feeling unworthy.
Ah, yes- the idea of perfection is seductive. It lures you in and thrives on your deepest insecurities. Perfection also has a cunning way of making you feel ashamed and unworthy of being seen, heard, and/or loved. And so, one goes on a soul-seeking mission outside of themselves to try to find all of things that will make them feel perfect, whole, loved, and complete. Unbeknownst to this soul-seeker, everything they’ve been searching for outside of them is already within them.
Having grown a little older and wiser, I’ve come to realize I don’t have to be perfect. I’ve also come to realize that it’s not about arriving at some destination or some utopian moment when everything suddenly becomes picture perfect and I have everything figured out. The truth is, I’ll never have it ALL figured out and quite frankly, it’s better that way- there’s more magic in the mystery.
As far as perfection goes- perfection is not something we can attain; it’s the essence of who we are. WE are Divine perfection in all its glorious, unique and splendid diversity.
Remember you don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be YOU.
Sending you all my love,