We all know that life isn't perfect. Yet many of us struggle to accept it and constantly strive for perfection. Which often leads to frustration, anger towards others, or a feeling of constant failure.
Perhaps we all need to say it again, and again until we finally believe it.
Life isn't perfect.
When we finally let those words sink in, then we can relax a little into ourselves. We can exhale.
We often try to perfect our relationships, our career, children's behaviour, homes, finances etc. But all those imperfections are what makes life the way it is. It's rough and rugged, unpredictable and constantly changing. We can learn to embrace imperfection. "C'est la Vie" (that's life) as the French would say.
When we relax our control, then we don't feel so tightly wound up. We don't go through life feeling so serious. We are more likely to see the humour of it all and allow ourselves to ride along with it.
So how can we help ourselves better embrace imperfection?
Accept that the cake we made for a gathering collapsed and laugh it off. Spoon it into a bowl, add a dollop of ice cream and it will still taste just as good.
Accept that your partner does things differently. That they don't fold the washing the same way as you do. In the end it's folded. How it's folded doesn't really matter.
Accept that children misbehave. They could be tired, going through a growth spurt or feeling a bit off. We all have shitty days. When we empathise it can reduce our feelings of frustration greatly.
Learn to detach from others and what they are doing. From the Instagrammer who appears to be eating the perfect diet, or have the perfect house. Deep down we all know we aren't seeing the entirety of their life. Take it as a snippet of inspiration. And let go of the feeling that what you are doing is poor in comparison.
Detach from possessions. When we realise that material things aren't that important in the grand scheme of things, we begin to appreciate what we already have without always thinking we need more. That we need a more perfect wardrobe, or perfectly designed home, that we need x amount of money in our account for us to be truly happy. More often than not we already have all that we need. It's noticing and appreciating those things that will help us change our mind-set.
Detach from trying to have it all figured out. From trying to create the "perfect life." While questioning life is good in many ways, struggle is also necessary. It's how we grow and become more resilient. Most of us have no clue what life is about or what we are doing. When we relax from trying to figure it all out, and go with the ebb and flow, then we take some of the pressure off. We can begin to enjoy life as it comes.
That hole in the cushion on our couch, it gives it character. Those marks on the dining table, they tell a story. Embrace the imperfections in our homes without feeling we need to replace it for a more perfect piece. Those imperfections tell a story and give a home a cozy lived-in feeling.
Embrace the financial struggles. As tough as that can be. Going through them can be extremely stressful, but those struggles encourage us to prioritise. They force us to simplify and cut back on the unnecessary. And teach us to appreciate what we do have - our health, family and having a roof over our head.
Your child might be moody and quite often you wish they would be easier to handle. But they might also sense the world around them deeply, and be extremely perceptive, which are actually rather beautiful traits. Embrace their sensitive side. Empathise. Offer comfort and understanding. And gently help them learn resilience.
Life doesn't need to be perfect to be enjoyed.
When we understand this we learn to relax our control. We reduce our expectations of ourselves and of others. We begin to empathise, show more kindness, and become more forgiving.
Just as in nature, imperfections abound us. But there is beauty in the unusual. In the moments that don't go to plan. We can begin to appreciate these little wonders and learn to welcome the unexpected.