I Am Who I Am, But...
A little insight into my personality: I love to make daily commitments. It’s a game I like to play with myself, called “Pretending I’m a Different Person” because I SUCK at daily commitments, and always have. Whether it’s keeping a journal, yoga, meditating, posting on my social media business pages, meal planning, checking the kids’ school bags for homework and important papers, keeping a daily schedule, eating before noon...it’s all hard for me. I have a lot on my plate and a brain that likes to alter the speed with which it processes information to astonishing degrees depending on my sleep, stress level and self care practice.
And yet: this has never stopped me from making daily commitments aka setting myself up for failure. I became a perfectionist at a very young age, and that seemingly enviable quality was covering for a tremendous amount of shame. Perfectionism is rooted in the belief that you have to be perfect in order to be worthy of love or respect. And so I tried, for nearly thirty years. REALLY, REALLY HARD. Hard enough for most people to believe I was pulling it off, even. I got the Master’s Degree and achieved career goals; had the wedding, and the house, and the dog, and the kids, and the beautiful professional photos on my social media pages. But few knew about all the days I couldn’t get out of bed, or how much I was really yelling at my kids or fighting with my spouse, or how anxious I felt that one or all of the precarious plates balancing on sticks above my head would come crashing down.
My yoga teacher taught me that no amount of self improvement can make up for a lack of self acceptance. We all need goals to strive for in order to get where we want to be in life. When you change nothing, nothing changes. Yet it is completely pointless to fight against the reality of your own limitations. No human is perfect, least of all me. When I stopped pretending and started accepting my flaws and allowed my loved ones to support me physically and emotionally, I discovered that done is better than perfect. Let go of the need to control everything or attachment to a specific outcome. Finding the balance between accepting who we are and working toward positive change brings a peace within that everyone deserves.