Thursday, December 24, 2009

Self-acceptance and perfection

~ Rhythm of the Night | Corona ~

“We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves the way we are, and why we don't accept others the way they are.”
-- Don Miguel Ruiz

“The maxim ‘Nothing but perfection’ may be spelled ‘Paralysis.’”
-- Winston Churchill

“After enough mirror gazing, we all develop our ‘cosmic sense of humor.’ We no longer try to be perfect, or try to get all our work done in time. We become content with whatever life brings. Just to deal with what comes up without crucifying ourselves or others is enough of a challenge.”
-- Paul Ferrini

Attaining self-acceptance has brought me to the place in life where I no longer beat myself up because I am not perfect. It has taken me a lifetime to realize that no matter how hard anyone tries, they will never be perfect. Having said that, it doesn't mean giving up on striving for perfection . . . it is about accepting that which is imperfect after attempting to be the best person you can be, doing the best job you can do, loving yourself and being proud of what you did accomplish. 
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses no matter who we are. Maximizing our strengths and strengthening our weaknesses through setting realistic goals and doing everything possible to attain them helps to get to the place of self-acceptance. 
What good does almost hitting a goal make if the bar is raised before we are able to get there? All that does is create the illusion of failure when we should be proud of getting close to hitting that goal.

My parents gave me an awesome foundation as a child, teaching me to always do my best . . . but they expected perfection. When it seemed like I was ready to hit a goal they had set for me, that bar would be raised and I always felt not quite "good enough" leading to a life of frustration with myself and making perfection in everything I do as the goal. Little did I know that I would never hit that goal . . . no one can.

Perfection is an awesome thing to strive for, however, when it becomes a life obsession, that is not a good thing. It only leads to self-hatred . . . something I dealt with all of my life. I have wasted so much of my life beating myself up.

Setting realistic goals is the healthy balance.


Tammy said...

I can relate to the bar being raised whenever you were about to hit the mandated goal. I learned to push myself (good) but I never learned the importance of owning and celebrating your successes.

Finally I can be proud to say that I'm far from perfect and I like it that way. Of course I'm a work in progress but I have a strong desire to just relax and accept me for the way I am now. Everybody needs a vacation from growing, it can be called meditation or self love, but I just want to be for awhile :)

Gina Alfani said...

I am finally accepting myself for who I am . . . most of the time!

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