Perfect. It’s a word I use a lot in conversation, often as an answer.
“I’ll pick you up a 7:00.”
It’s not to imply that 7:00 is the only perfect time. 7:01 would be perfect as well. So would 7:02, or 7:10. Actually, any time is perfect. Because there isn’t anything other than the perfect time. Just ask your dog, or any other living creature on earth what time it is. They don’t know, nor do they care. (And yes, I understand they can’t speak.) They are only ever in the present. Time only exists in human form. It is a human construct to put us relation to each other, and the earth, within time and space.
We have a joke in our house. If you ask one of our kids, “What time is it?” They will most likely answer, with a big smile, and possibly an eye-roll, “Now.”
Perfectionism is a formidable friend/foe I have taken blows from throughout my life. She is sneaky, persistent and really good at hiding. I constantly work to eliminate this drag from my personal set of beliefs. One of the tools that works most often, is knowing that nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect.
It’s not that I was or am an outward perfectionist. I never insisted on a white-glove-clean house. Although I do like things organized. I have, and do, certainly run to the grocery store in workout clothes and no makeup. Hell, I’ve spent DAYS and DAYS in workout clothes and no makeup. I don't have to make the perfect meal, or wrap the perfect gift, or have the perfect body or have a perfect relationship with my husband.
So, it was a bit of a shock when I realized how much the perfection belief was running my mind. And thoughts. And behaviors. And actions. (Or inactions.) Notice I am not saying that I AM a perfectionist...I AM not. It is a belief, or stance...that is all. It’s not WHO I AM.
My perfection was a made-up construct in my mind. I’ve often said I felt like I lived with a clock over my head, or a timeline, of how my life SHOULD be running. “This needs to happen then, then this, then that...” Or the comparison tricks of, "She wraps a beautiful gift, better than mine." "She always looks so put together." "Her website is so amazing." So no, nothing was perfect. Nothing ever COULD be with that sort of unrealistic expectation of life. Add in social media? Pleeeeeaaaase...
I was always chasing something. And I wasn’t fast enough.
It was the quiet, subtle, voice in my head, consistently and unfailingly, holding me back. Having me stay small. Telling me nothing was enough. You won't do it right. Nothing will ever be good enough. No matter what you do. It won’t be enough.
You are not enough.
Note: perfectionism’s ugly step-sister side effects are depression and anxiety. Whole different discussion.
On the other side, when I come from a place of everything IS perfect, at all times, I operate with much more ease in my life. Every event, person, choice that has led me to this moment, right now as I am typing this, has been perfect...for ME. To learn what I came to this life to learn. And only I can figure it out, the best way I can.
So I bring into my life the people, events and circumstances that will help me learn best. No matter what they may look like at first. Sometimes it’s remarkably beautiful, like my children or a dear friendship. Sometimes it’s excruciating, like a disagreement with my husband, or my mother’s suicide. That’s when it becomes clear.
A dear friend and teacher said to me after my mom passed, “Remember, her entire life [with depression] was perfect. Including her death.”
Wow. Really? Perfect? That changed the way I thought about that word. About everything.
When we can transform our thinking of perfection from something completely unattainable and negative, “Oh yeah, nothing is perfect. It can't be. Everything/one has flaws,” to, “HELL YES! Everything IS perfect!” We can change the way we look at the world.
We can practice non-resistance and accept WHAT IS. We are free to have the willingness and ability to explore all of life’s possibilities.
We get access to freedom. And ease.
We can let go of the death grip we have on the branch of life - which creates all kinds of resistance - and fall into the river. Letting the flow of the water take us where IT wants us to go. By practicing healthy surrender, we will ultimately end up exactly where we are supposed to be. Maybe we hit a few rocks and tumble down a waterfall or two, gathering some bumps and bruises along the way. Maybe even a scar.
But we will have taken the journey, without a clock over our head, or a timeline, or a stopwatch. We will explore the bottom of the deepest pools and travel through extraordinary places we didn’t know existed.
Then, with some effort, ease and grace, we will find ourselves floating on our backs, drifting quietly. Actually enjoying ourselves. With the sun shining on our glistening bodies. Surrounded by the most spectacular beauty this earth has to offer, with others who have journeyed with us. At peace. Full of love.
What a ride.
Grateful that we let go. Dared greatly. Had the experiences, the relationships, the love, the beauty, the joy and the pain — in our own unique expression of life.
And what time shall I pick you up?
With ease and love,