Mental Health

In Defense of Imperfection

Be honest – when was the last time that you were so distracted by the responsibilities and tasks of your daily life that you completely missed something important that had been placed right in front of you? For me, I would say it’s a tie between the time I walked directly into a potato chip display at the grocery store because I was too busy feverishly typing out an email response on my phone to watch where I was walking (my apologies to Pringles), or the time I stood in the shower with my mind completely blank as to whether or not I had already washed my hair – seriously, 29 years old and I couldn’t remember if my hair was clean because I was so preoccupied thinking about the to-do list that I needed to accomplish later that day.

In those moments, my mindset was one of fixed perfection. I felt that if I didn’t answer that email within a few seconds of having received it, or if I didn’t mentally review the chores of the day ahead I would fall short of being the perfect woman who can do it all. But the truth of my reality, and the reality that each of you are living as well, is that perfection is a myth. It’s an all-consuming problem that is never going to happen in the life.

I am not perfect. You are not perfect either. And we will never be perfect. I’ve made a commitment in my daily life to own this fact and declare it proudly; I hope you do the same.

But wearing our imperfections like a badge of honor means that each of us will now need to accept the reality of who we are – we’re strong women on a journey through this messy, disorganized life, and that’s okay! The sooner we accept our imperfect nature, the sooner we can truly embrace ourselves and our imperfect offering to the world, living fully in the moment.

I encourage each of us to reflect on our sense of awareness and presence, imperfect though it may be, knowing that this is a directive that is often much easier said than done. We are conditioned to move through our days with our eyes glued to our screens, thinking ahead to what we will say to impress our next client, how we will act to find ourselves in the good graces of our in-laws come that formal dinner we have scheduled, or worrying about how that group project for class will get done when everyone else in the group is just so lazy in our pursuit of the allusive allure of perfection. But we who are ready to embrace the truth of imperfect presence are also ready to begin the path toward accepting that this mindset does not serve our souls, nor does it serve our bodies.

Years of evolution have meant that our bodies are often smarter than our external condition, so even though we live in a fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world where getting ahead is preferred to minding our own intrinsically motivating needs, returning to our roots and the core of our personal knowledge is key. If we truly want to be mindful women living in the contemporary age, it is our responsibility to contribute to the paradigm shift that needs to take place in bringing our attention to the fact that in order to thrive, we must align ourselves with the vibrations around us.

We must commit to focusing our hearts, and our minds, on our own ability to love ourselves and others just as we are, making ourselves more aware of the times when our attention wanders or resorts back to a fixed mindset of perfection so that we can truly harness the power of being positive, not always put-together role models for others – our spouses, children, coworkers, and communities.

This life is meant to be lived in the joy of each moment, not in anxious prediction and perfection or in hindsight and dusty photographs.

We must commit to changing the narrative of our perfection, and I would like to think that the pride of our days is better understood as a pursuit of finding balance rather than nabbing that promotion at the expense of a coworker’s morale or in finding the best lit angle for an Instagram post in the hope of amassing likes from our follower in order to appear more popular.

Today, let’s work on placing less need and focus on the stressors of our lives that threaten to take our attention away from the people and things that are truly important and place our consciousness instead on those that should be privy to our full focus in the moment.

Living without perfection, in full intention, is our birthright and needs to be prioritized. Our presence is our power. What we give our attention to is what will flourish, so what will you grow today?


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