I tried being a perfect mom with a perfect family. It was dreadful. I was insufferable.
I made lots of mistakes.
Trying to be perfect nearly killed me.
I am learning to embrace my imperfections, forgive myself for my mistakes, and make peace with tragedy. It’s the only way to move forward and know peace in my heart.
Perfection is an illusion. Indeed, many mamas I know have make “the perfect family” an idol. Imperfection is our common heritage as humans. It can also be the source of our greatest power.
Look for ways to embrace you imperfections so that you become positively empowered by the mistakes that you make. Here are some ideas that will allow you to embrace your humanity for your betterment and for the betterment of those around you.
What is the hidden gift of imperfection? Where does its power lie?
Many people would answer these questions by saying that imperfections are weaknesses and weaknesses are flaws that can do nothing but harm us. They would also say that because imperfections are weaknesses they have no power, unless it is the negative power inherent in harm.
You might feel this way if you are locked in the chase for perfection. If you worship an unattainable ideal, you will spend great amounts of time and energy in the futile attempt to avoid mistakes. Humans are prone to error, not perfection. Therefore, when a perfection-seeker makes the inevitable mistake, they are so ashamed of it that they try and cover the mistake up. They refuse to honestly talk about the behavior that led to the mistake. This means that they learn nothing from it and, as a result, will repeat the behavior that led to the mistake – sometimes time and time again.
I’ve met so many mamas at conventions and church meetings who would vigorously nod in agreement that the homeschool life is wonderful and superior. In private, they would share their sorrow over wayward children and dead marriages. The desire to present a positive public face caused them to deny their private pain. Being stuck in this position of denial leads only to stagnation and feeling stuck.
When you embrace your imperfections, you understand that chasing perfection is a fool’s errand. You understand what a waste of time and energy it is. You realize that the human heritage is made up of behaviors that cause error.
However, you don’t stop there. You also realize that the human heritage is also a history of learning from those errors and correcting the behaviors that caused them.
The process of growth is contingent on falling down and getting back up. Positive change can only come from the realization that negative behaviors cause negative results. This realization helps pinpoint the behaviors in question so that they can be changed. The result is that we learn from our mistakes. It is how we grow as human beings. It is how we have always grown as human beings. It is how our species has grown and it is how we have, so far, survived and thrived.
Learning is the hidden gift of imperfection. It is the reason why embracing imperfection is so essential for personal growth.
Can you be honest enough with yourself to look at your past behaviors to examine how they might have contributed to your current difficulty? It is painful to look at our own imperfections, but unless we examine them, we won’t learn and change.
In my own journey of learning and moving forward, it has been my prayer to own what I need to own of my own behavior, call it what it is, learn from it, and do better in the future.
I have had to humbly admit that I have been impatient, unloving, harsh, judgmental, and more, more times than I want to admit.
I have called out my imperfections and sought to do what I could to make things right.
At some point in their lives, I have asked each of my kids for forgiveness for how my own screwed-up-ed-ness has harmed them.
By embracing my own imperfections, I have learned from them.
After that embrace, I have been committed to being more loving and accepting – of myself and others.
Almost everything is better. Not solved or perfect, but better.
Are you on this journey with me? I have found this book to be helpful. This is an Amazon affiliate link and if you buy through my site, I receive a commission.