I literally laboured to change my thinking of messiness. Instead of shaking my head with repeating “you are so st….d” thoughts, I began to laugh at my messy. I learned that breaking perfection leads to more connection and joy.
It wasn’t easy, letting go of perfection. When a teenager, I remember admiring the vacuum marks at a peer’s out-of-bounds living room. My own home included spreads of magazines and newspapers on coffee-tables. I’d rearrange them by colour and size, just to look less messy (at least to my own eyes).
I wanted to look like I had it as together as that award-winning honour student peer with the perfect make-up, matching clothed, and manicured nails whose mother never let us in her beautiful living room.
Her living room said she had it together. I was messy.
Messy with thoughts that decided one non-sugar seltzer a day was enough. Messy with thoughts that decided even swollen, over-extended ankles would not stop me from 90 minutes aerobic classes. Messy with thoughts that needed the scale to show the ‘perfect’ weight to be beautiful.
Messy thoughts that wanted connection at any cost—only to lead to disconnection, more broken from the beautiful than the other way around. More disconnection from the real me.
The other day, I came back to a wide open car door in the store parking lot. I’d forgotten to shut it when retrieving shopping bags from my trunk before walking into Safeway.
It was raining.
Sitting on the rain-soaked drivers seat, pattering rain on the windshield, tears streamed down my face. Tears of laughter. And gratitude that all my items were still in place.
This is me. The gotta-look-behind-me gal to check if I left behind my glasses (again) on the restaurant table. The gal that friends rush out of their houses to my car holding my phone, keys, books—you name it—just before I pull out of their driveways.
This is me. The cake and cookie-loving gal who takes a bite of dessert before dinner begins (almost always).
This is me. The gal who leaves her home before the mascara is on, or the one her friends need to tell her about the poppy seed in her teeth, or sees the stain on her white blouse just before the show begins.
And she laughs.
And you know what is even better?
The ones she is with laugh too, in that good way. That good laugh that is joyful and fun. That good laugh that says “I’m with you. Life is messy fun.” The stories she tells of her mishaps, her forgetfulness and her this-is-life moments brings them into her messy living.
This is what I learned when perfection broke me—it is the real imperfect perfection that brings connection. Connection with real self and real others comes from acceptance of self.
Connections come when we let others into our messy.
Beauty shines through when we break open to our uniquely designed selves.
“Your life is like a lovely silk dress, free to embroider the way you choose. You don’t have to look or act like anyone else or fit into any mold to make a beautiful life. Your loving Creator made you an original.” Bonnie Grey, author Whispers of Rest and the soon-to-be released Sweet Like Jasmine
Tell me your perfect imperfections….
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