Just a few days ago I wrote, “The word ‘practice’ also serves to remind us that there is no perfect. Whether we maintain a spiritual practice, a creative practice or a professional practice, we are always in the process of learning, adapting, accommodating, growing and changing. The only end comes when we die. In the meantime, all we have is the means, the very process of living, itself. We try, we move forward, we trip, we fall behind, we start again, and eventually we become, while not perfect, perfectly wonderful Queens.”
No sooner did I post it than I received the following piece by Wendi Knox, a Queen from California. I just love the synchronicity, not to mention the sentiment. Being of the Virgo persuasion, it really hit home.
Calling All Perfectionists
The difference between imperfect and I’m perfect is just an apostrophe.
In my next life, I hope to come back as an imperfectionist.
Maybe I won’t have Virgo rising. A father who color-coordinates his sock drawer. Or a mother whose handwriting looks like it belongs in a penmanship book.
Naturally, I rebelled with messy drawers and sloppy handwriting.
But I did develop a “good enough isn’t good enough” self-flagellation system.
If you’re like me, you grew up believing you could (and should) have it all.
The Perfect Job. The Perfect Marriage. The Perfect Family. The Perfect Body. (The Perfect Breakdown?)
We measure our human selves against some airbrushed version of life with Jen’s hair, Angelina’s lips and Martha’s culinary skills.
I think so many of us love Oprah because she’s dared to share her imperfections. No matter how many schools she builds or cars she gives away, Oprah’s the first to admit, that she’s still carrying the weight of a sad and abusive childhood.
Speaking of weight, I know I could afford to lose a few.
But even at my skinniest, I still obsessed about some part of me that could have been more this or less that.
So, these days, my mission is to learn to love myself just the way I am. Of course, it’s not easy being kind to every new wrinkle or grey strand that shows up in the mirror.
But since I believe the world is a mirror of how we treat ourselves, I’m trying to be as nice to Me as I am to everyone else.
So, when I looked in the mirror today, I actually focused on the color of my eyes (instead of the dark circles under them).
And last night, I even gave my hair a compliment.
Guess what — on days when I say kind things to myself, life feels kinder to me.
Instead of constantly comparing myself to the latest cover girl, I try to remember these words from my wise friend Heather:
“If the goddess were living here on earth, how would she carry herself?”
Hmmm…would she starve herself to squeeze into a size 2 pair of jeans?
Would she inject her laugh lines with Botox?
Or would she accept and love her womanly curves and nurture her miraculous body with delicious, nutritious food, enjoying every morsel of it?
Okay, I admit that I’m not totally there yet.
But each day, I do have a little more self-love than I did the day before.
And on those days when my inner Gestapo (a.k.a. Edna) starts berating me and my imperfections, I take a deep breath and put on my walking shoes.
As I pass each front yard, I’m reminded that there’s all kinds of beauty in the Flower Garden of Life.
Does a daisy strive to be as exotic as a hibiscus?
Does a hot pink zinnia wonder if it’s “too much” compared to an elegant white cow lily?
Does a voluptuous rose in full bloom envy a tiny, delicate bud?
Okay, you get the point.
Now, please oh please, do me one little favor.
Before I re-write this thing for the fifth time, tell me something about Perfectly Imperfect You. (Or is it Imperfectly Perfect You?)
Oh My Goddess Bloggess
I second that motion. Please do share with us, your sister Queens, your perfect imperfection.
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.