I’m not perfect. That might surprise you. It’s a surprise to me over and over again. It’s hard for me to admit to this. I try so hard to do everything right the first time, to do everything perfectly, and sometimes I even succeed. But most of the time, I fall short of my expectations. I may fall short of others’ expectations, too.
I try to tell myself that it just isn’t possible to do everything right or even well sometimes, but that feels a bit like justification or letting myself off easy. I want so much to know exactly the right words to say to a friend or a client who is grieving or having a bad day. I want to follow through on every request that comes my way for information or acknowledgment or kindness. I strive to be the person who cares for everyone I know in the ways that are best for them. And as hard as I try, I realize it is impossible to be that person.
I catch glimpses of myself doing all of these things. I even have a day or two when it feels like everything is going as planned, that all of my plans are falling into place just as I knew they would. Then I think I can do it again tomorrow and the next day, but I get tired or bored or want to do other things, and I let it slide. I trap myself in this idea that doing things well, being perfect, is going to change my life. It’s going to make me a better person and fill in all the missing pieces of the puzzle. But the problem is that it doesn’t, and it never will. And I’m working on learning that-again.
The basic problem is that I’ve already assumed that I’m not perfect the way I am, that if I could just change something or be something else that I would magically find this land called perfection and live in it happily ever after, like the ending of a fairy tale. Not only does this magical place or “happily ever after” not exist, but I am always and will forever be perfectly myself. There is nothing that could possibly make me more or less so, however hard I try. It isn’t the same as this idea of my perfect self, but I have a feeling it might be better. It’s definitely more real and more attainable. I think I’m going to give it a try. And if you see yourself in this, I encourage you to do the same.