Perfectionism

I’m reading Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly and in it she talks of many aspects of shame and vulnerability. She talks of never feeling good enough: not strong enough, thin enough or smart enough. She links perfectionism to an addictive behaviour that is all about approval-seeking.

perfect

I am a self-confessed perfectionist but I’m getting better at accepting myself and my flaws. I’m learning to love myself warts and all. No, I don’t really have warts. But I did have an experience this morning that drove this topic home.

Having medically slowed down my thyroid and not having been able to exercise for a while, I find myself in less than optimal shape. In fact, I’m feeling pretty ugly. This morning I slunk into the shower hoping not to be gawked at. My children often follow me around the house and much of the morning routine happens in the bathroom. So my two girls were sitting directly next to the shower, one eating breakfast and one playing. My six-year-old said “Mommy, I just feel like hugging you because you’re so beautiful” and of course little sister echoed her sentiment. And I’m looking at them wondering if they’re seeing what I see.

But they don’t. They look past the cellulite and bad hair. They see right into my heart that is overflowing with love for them. It was a lesson for me to not judge myself so harshly and to try to see in me what they do.

imperfection

Talking of bad hair, I’m a my wit’s end. I made the decision to try a new style that was previously incompatible with running. I figure that if I’m not running, I’m might as well have a midway style and enjoy a more feminine look. So I’ve been trying to grow it for ages. And each time I go to the hair dresser for a tidy up, they take a huge chunk off. It’s a losing battle. So for months I’m stuck with this horrid in-between uncomfortable and messy thing that is not me. Much like my illness.

Graves’ disease is not a friendly or kind experience. I look fine on the outside but am plagued with major fatigue. I have ups and downs and just when I think I’m making progress, I have another set-back. And sometimes I don’t even know why. It’s messy and confusing and just not me. It can’t be controlled and I can only learn to manage my energy. But it is what it is and I need to learn to create a life that works given this new constraint. And more importantly to look past the cellulite and bad hair.

Are you a perfectionist? Do you struggle to see the beauty in imperfection? It’s worthwhile seeing yourself through the eyes of a pet or child who only see your love and not the irrelevant quirks of your appearance.

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Kathy
I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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