What does it mean to be perfect; to have the perfect life? Does it mean to have a beautiful home, well-behaved kids, and your dream job? Does it mean having thousands of followers and perfectly coordinated Instagram squares? After chasing perfect for way too long and being exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out, I realized something: I already have the perfect life. I don't have the perfect home, always well-behaved child, or thousands of followers. But I do have it all. I have all I need. And what I have is perfect. It was just a matter of perspective.
The idea of perfection is unrealistic.
Over time it has become something that we chase after because of its alluring qualities. We see others and think they have it all. That they've figured out how to reach perfection. And then we want it too. But that idea of perfection is only on the surface.
you have everything you need
Perfect is all about how you define it. It's about letting go of control and letting God give you what He thinks is perfect. You have all that you need right now. But when we are focused on what everyone else has and what we think is perfect, we easily forget that. I know I did. When I stopped and looked at what was in front of me, I noticed. I saw a happy, healthy baby boy. A loving husband who is also my best friend. A warm home. An amazing job that I love to do each day. A family full of love and laughter. And that's when it hit me. This is perfect.
It may not look like the ideal picture of perfection that somehow came to be. But it's perfect to me.
It became more about living in this imperfect life and loving every minute of it than chasing after an idea of perfection that doesn't really exist. I want to embrace the mess. Embrace the moments. Because time passes us by too quickly to spend it striving for something that doesn't really exist instead of living where we are right now and enjoying every second of it.
You don't have to be perfect
There have been many long, hard days full of dirty diapers, yogurt spills, and no naps lately. There are days when I don't get to shower, the house is a mess, and laundry is everywhere. There are days when I am tired and unmotivated and we watch a little too much TV. I am often battling between needing to work and needing to be with my son. There are some days when we make it work, others when we don’t. In a perfect world, I would have enough time to get work done while he played quietly by himself and then I could spend just enough time with him playing and enjoying this stage.
Instead, I find myself trying to answer emails while he sits on my lap watching videos on the computer. That’s not how I thought it would be. But there are moments of joy in those hard days that I want to enjoy too. In between tantrums, there are giggles from the tickle monster. Behind the pile of clothes, there are sweet moments with my husband.
The trick is picking your battles and being flexible. Adapting as your season changes. Learning to adjust with changes.
Even in tough seasons, we can still enjoy the moments that matter. Even when you feel like giving up and that you’ll never find your happy place, finding the moments of joy will remind you that everything is going to be ok. That this too shall pass. Embracing the imperfections and messy moments is where you will make memories. Letting go of control and the idea that everything always has to be perfect is when you can really live.
Living a perfectly imperfect life
Living a perfectly imperfect life for me means to embrace where I am each day. It means to take it one day at a time and enjoy the things that matter most. It means to focus on the good stuff and forget the rest.
It means to stop chasing a perfect that doesn't exist and live in the perfect that I already have.
I have learned that my imperfect life is so much better than any false idea of perfection could ever be. I've learned that by letting go of control and letting God write my story instead, I'm choosing His version of perfect. And that is so much better than anything I could plan for myself.
I have stopped chasing the perfect life and have been so much happier since. I used to think that if I could just make this happen or if I could just be here or have that, life would be perfect and I would be happy. I was wrong. Even after I got some of those things I wanted, there was always something else to strive for in order for things to be “perfect”. Because life will never be perfect, but that's ok.
By focusing so much on what I thought was perfect, I lost sight of what already was perfect.
I robbed myself of opportunities to be fully present, enjoy what I already have, and be happy with what I have been given. I spent too much time working towards that next thing and not enough time savor the moments that were in front of me.
It's a learning process. As humans, we naturally want bigger and better. We are drawn towards the idea of perfection because it sounds so nice. I don't have it all figured out. I'm working on it every single day. But with time, I'm learning to embrace my imperfect life and it is becoming my perfect more and more. I learned to give myself grace in these moments. I know that the to-do list will always be there but that my son will only be little once. Some days are easier than others and I am constantly reminding myself this, but with grace, those hard days get just a little bit easier. Those imperfect moments become that much more enjoyable.
Are you living a perfectly imperfect life? How do you embrace your imperfections?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also Why less is more.