Things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
I’m gonna let you sit with that one for a second to determine whether or not you agree or you are rolling your eyes because it’s just an annoying statement.
Personally, for me it’s a bit of both depending on what scenario I’m attempting to apply this zenned out philosophy to. Truthfully – the messier, uglier, more challenging the situation the harder it is for me to see the beauty. If something is just missing the mark, then I’m better able to accept things as they are – I don’t need that extra 15% to feel content.
However, the larger the distance between where I am and where I want to be (or think I SHOULD be) the more uncomfortable I get.
And when I say uncomfortable I really mean irritated, judgmental (of myself + the scenario); I’m more apt to believe that I won’t ever “get there”. I feel unsatisfied, and am unwilling to see what has already been accomplished, what boxes have already been checked. What I’ve already done well.
What if we let go of the idea of the perfect outcome and started practicing being ok with imperfection? Eye-rollers, bear with me…
As a recovering perfectionist, I know the suggestion that we stop striving for such goals will not land well for some. What made me so resistant to adopting this concept was my interpretation that people were trying to encourage me to lower my bar, set my expectations beneath what I was striving for. Settle for less than the best, my best. (The thought that would loop in my brain: “Maybe 80% is good enough for you all but it’s NOT good enough for me”.)
Great news! (take a breath!). You don’t have to settle for less than your best self or outcome. I’m not asking you to lower your bar – I am suggesting you have a better shot at feeling good about yourself, your life, your relationships if you relax the criteria you use to delineate arriving at “happy”. We tend to put all our eggs in one basket – only allowing ourselves to feel satisfied, happy, accomplished when we’ve reached a very specific place – and that’s a set up.
For so many of us type A, go-getters – the mark is constantly shifting so we never allow ourselves the experience to feel complete.
You WILL enjoy this journey a hell of a lot more if you can practice being ok with where you are, today. Not where you thought you would be, or where you think you SHOULD be.
Enter stage left, my visual analogy:
So, the picture at the top of the post – pretty, right? I made this 7 years ago and really enjoyed the process of ever so carefully placing and gluing the keys into the precise spot that I found visually pleasing. Last year in the midst of moving (and a lot of other upheaval) that small key fell. (Damnit!!!). I hung the picture in my new home anyhow, pledging to fix it ASAP. Everyday I would glance at that fallen key – it became a crass + mocking reminder that there was still more to do. If I’m being honest, sometimes it would even conjure feelings of anger + resentment. Toward the picture. Uh-huh. An interesting foray into our emotional interaction with our environment – or mine at least – but that’s a whole other blog…!
I decided to shift how I thought about the picture and the fallen key because I KNOW I create my own reality.
What I tell myself informs what I believe which directly affects how I feel.
It would be SUPER easy to re-attach that key – but I won’t. It reminds me, on a daily, that it’s ok everything isn’t perfect. And it’s still beautiful.