Once upon a time, I became convinced that if I had a perfect body, then I would be able to fix my failing marriage. I worked out seven days a week and spent at least two hours a day at the gym. I worked out with a personal trainer, attended spin classes, and in between lifted weights and ran on the treadmill. When it came to food, I counted every morsel that crossed my lips and limited myself to less than 1000 calories a day.
Then, one day, I realized I had surpassed my weight goal. I was thinner than I had been since high school and had reduced my body fat to around 11%. And you know what? Our relationship wasn’t improving in any way, he was growing more critical and each day seemed worse than the day before. And sex? It was a mere memory as if from another life.
Let’s be honest: not only was I thin, I was too thin. In fact, my trainer begged me to eat a cheeseburger and a milkshake!
And now, let’s be brutally honest. I was a miserable bitch. I was depressed, on edge, and my creativity was leaving me. I had lost my passion for almost everything (like FOOD!).
In the pursuit of perfection, I was failing miserably. I was thin, but not thin enough. I was never quiet enough, organized enough, or pretty enough. Nothing I did was ever “enough”. I heard the criticism from my mother and my husband – and of course, my inner critic.
After my divorce, I learned that in order to fall in love with myself and my life, then I needed to let go of trying to be the perfect everything. It was time to make peace with who I was and where I was in that moment.
Let me tell you, darling: too often, we get stuck in creating a picture perfect life based on societal – or family expectation. We focus on what a mom should be doing, what a girlfriend or wife should look like, how a friend should behave.
We take to heart and believe that if we don’t fulfill who we should be we are failing at life. Let me tell you the real truth: YOU in this very moment are perfectly perfect – in all your imperfections.
So, where do you begin?
Baby, You stop pursuing perfection. You stop arguing with reality.
You accept yourself for who you are in this very moment – warts and all. Yep – everything: extra pounds, messy closet, crow’s feet, and grey hair and all.
Now, let me be clear. Making peace with your current self doesn’t mean that you are choosing to remain stuck; instead, you are choosing to end the argument with reality. Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, has said that if you argue with reality, it’s like arguing with God and you will lose 100% of the time.
Let me tell you, darling, from the very moment I began to make peace with myself, with exactly who I was on that day, my life and my world changed.
I let go of the self-image of a women who didn’t deserve to have fulfilling work. I let go of the belief that I was not worthy of being loved. I began to let go of the pursuit of perfection and appreciate the imperfect parts of who I was. I began to forgive myself for past mistakes.
I discovered that I am more than worth the most powerful love of all: the love of myself.
And so are you. You are worth loving.
So, today, I want you to give yourself a gift: Accept the amazing person that you are in this moment so you stop resisting reality.
I know, I know. I can hear the arguments, excuses and justifications bouncing through your brain. How you need to lose 20 pounds so you’ll be pretty enough to find the man of your dreams. How you need to write a best-selling novel so that you can quit your job and change the world. How you’ll be happy when you are thin, in a great relationship, have $100,000 in your bank account and have a best-selling novel.
Let me tell you something, darling: the time is NOW.
Because if you are waiting for things to CHANGE before you get IT, then you’re going to be waiting a long time.
So, here’s the deal, kitten: just like we began a Courage Practice with a Courage Agreement, I offer you the opportunity to begin an Acceptance Practice with a Peace Agreement (download your very own copy).
What’s a Peace Agreement? A Peace Agreement creates a sacred contract between you mind, heart and soul. I learned that when you write things down, it allows your lizard brain, your inner critic, and your heart to work together instead of against each other.
What makes up a Peace Agreement? Yours will be different from mine, but I’ve taken the liberty of filling in a few lines…here are some ideas:
- I will embrace my imperfection
- I will not judge or criticize my ideas or dreams.
- I will not wait to wear my good perfume, my nice underwear or use my good linens.
- I will eat without guilt.
- I will observe myself with compassion.
- I will be curious about actions I take that don’t align with my goals.
- I will recommit regularly to my dreams.
- I will make time for rest and for play, because my body and soul deserves both.
- I will allow myself to feel – I will laugh and I will cry. I am human and am allowed to feel.
- I will honor myself by saying “no” to things that don’t align with who I want to be and saying yes to those things that do.
- I will love myself completely.
Now for a lot more honesty: I won’t tell you that you can wave a magic wand and change your life overnight. It would be nice if that were possible, but life is a journey of steps.
I won’t lie and tell you that breaking free of the perfection mindset is easy. Just as with every relationship, the one you have with yourself takes work. As you begin to plant the seeds of change in your world, know that the dirt will come up. There may be a few tears that go along with the laughter, but both are important – the tears and the laughter – as they each possess an amazing restorative power.
Honey, there are days I still struggle with my inner demons. But how I recover and find my way back home to myself is by reminding myself that I am who I am in this moment.
By the way, if you’ve survived the years by numbing yourself with food (or other things) or telling yourself that Big Girls Don’t Cry – then allowing yourself to feel may be a foreign concept to you. And SCARY. Oh, so very scary. But it’s worth it.
Let me tell you, darling: on the other side of that fear and perfection is a life that you can be head over heels in love with.
Will it look different from mine? Of course, because it will be your own creation of what makes life rich and lush and fulfilling and comfortable and exciting. But like me, you will be excited to get up each morning and thrilled at the end of every day.
And, baby: it begins with Peace. Go ahead darling and download that Peace Agreement today. What do you have to lose except the pursuit of perfection?