Last night I went to a dance class. This was a class that I had never participated in before, so there was fear mixed with excitement. In this class, you are blindfolded. The darkness creates less distractions, allows more access to your inner world, and lessens inhibition. (And no one can see my wild or ungraceful moves!)
Before the dance, we were asked to partner with another and share our intentions. “What are you dancing for?” I asked my partner. Tears welled in her eyes. “I want to be perfect. I hear the voices of everyone around me and I want to please them. Rather than be perfect for them, I want to be perfect for myself.” In response, I asked her, “What if perfection was not proof of your strength? What if perfection did not define your achievements?” There was a great pause, almost as if my question was incomprehensible. Tears flowed and were restrained. Flowed and were restrained, acknowledging the sadness underneath that she was not quite ready for.
As women, we are so ingrained with this idea of perfection, and we see it everywhere: the perfect body, the ideal marriage or relationship, the mother who can be ALL to everyone. Does this really exist?
We have created a standard that we will never attain. So we try harder. We ignore our intuition.
The reason I share this woman’s story is that I hear similar versions of this with many of my clients. We have created a standard that we will never attain, and so we try harder. We work longer hours. We starve our bodies. We ignore our intuition. We push and push.
I invite you over the course of the next month, (or with this next moon cycle as this is the cycle in which your wisdom is aligned), to notice your quests for perfection.
In your home life?
Your role as a mother or partner?
Your spiritual practice?
All of the above?
Do you ever attain the perfection you seek? Do you judge yourself for failing? Do you then make more demands on yourself or resolve that life has defeated you?
As we move more deeply into the conversation of perfection, we intertwine with the presence of guilt. And then we meet with deservability.
Your perfection is not proof of your strength. It is not proof of who you are. Perfection is an illusion.
Here we journey back to the place where all of this has been birthed, the moment we felt we were not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not rich enough. And on and on.
I am hear today to whisper to you that you are enough. And that your perfection is not proof of your strength. It is not proof of who you are. Perfection is an illusion.
Photography via ClearlyAmbiguous and amandabhslater
This month, we’re serving up bite-sized advice from experts in different fields to help us all make life a little brighter, more creative and more efficient for 2013. Think of this month as a chance to connect with yourself on a deeper level, get closer to what makes you happy, and take control of the balance in ‘work-life balance’ for yourself this year.