“The world that made sense to me was a world of earning and proving, and I was gutting it out just like everyone around me, frantically trying to prove my worth.” ~ Shauna Niequist – Present over Perfect
I have this habit of never finishing a book. I literally have at least five books on the go right now. An even worse habit, is that if I cannot find a book that I’ve started reading (meaning I don’t spend more than two minutes looking it!) I’ll simply pick up a book that I haven’t read yet. This week I ran into that problem. I picked up Present over Perfect. Do you ever get the feeling that a book was written specifically meant for you? I get it a lot. You know that feeling when something happens to you and you get the full body goosebumps? It’s like little shivers of whoa all over your body. This book is giving me all the shivers of whoa. I’m not even more than 50 pages into it!
The above quote is something I deeply resonate with. We live in world of measures and benchmarks. We learn it from young and it continues with us until we are grown. My kids grab my attention daily by saying, “See what I can do mommy?” and then another voice will pop up, “I can do it better, watch me!” I think as kids this is something natural and it’s just part of the make up of who their little beings are. Kids learn things at breakneck speeds and so its only natural that they are proud to show off their accomplishments. As parents, we praise them, we encourage them and we applaud them. But as parents we should never hinge this praise on proof of their worth.
As adults we should never hinge our worth on accomplishments and busyness; or as so many in the industry call it- the hustle. Our value does not come from how tidy our house is, how we we totally rocked a work deadline, crushed a work out for the eighth day in a row or how we threw the best Pinterest birthday party for our kids. Those are all good things in themselves, but if we are placing our value in accomplishments alone we will continue to feel depleted.
“You have value because you exist, not because of what you do or or what you have done; but simply because you are.” ~ Max Lucado
I love flowers, I always have. I worked in the greenhouse industry for a number of years tending roses, gerberas, gardenias, and snap dragons. It wasn’t always the most exciting job but it was always filled with beautiful colour. Flowers gives me joy. An individual flower doesn’t give me joy because its brighter than all the others, it grew the quickest or smells the prettiest. It simply gives me joy because it just ‘is’. And think of how much more joyful that flower is when it joins with many other beautiful flowers.
We bring joy to ourselves and those around us when we give ourselves the permission to be just as we are. We are beings that have been designed to be imperfect. We are most likely going to fail at somethings and maybe more than once. Give yourself grace. Give yourself the permission to not be perfect. ‘Perfect’ is over rated my friends. Joy and beauty is always found in the messiness of life. We need to allow ourselves and those around us the freedom to live messy, imperfect lives!