Peace over Perfection

by | Nov 24, 2022

Xmas Tree

Ok, I’ll say it.  I’m a perfectionist.  Actually, scratch that.  I’m a recovering perfectionist.  Perfectionism has stopped me from achieving so many things and it most certainly stopped me from feeling like an amazing first time mum.  I don’t actually know when it started to be honest.  I can’t pinpoint when perfection became a thing in my life.  When I felt like I needed to be perfect in order to be valued.  Heard.  Seen.  Recognised.

Having children throws perfectionism in a tailspin for most mums.  The main reason for that is that we simply don’t have the control that we once had.  I couldn’t control the toys being left on the floor every single day.  I couldn’t control the food that was being thrown on the floor by my then toddler or the dust that was accumulating on my window seals because I was trying to juggle, what felt like, 10,000 balls.

My perfectionism really got cracked wide open when we got the diagnosis.  Not only could I not control the diagnosis but it felt like it was destroying what I thought we had – my little perfect family.  Happily married, two gorgeous kids, an autism diagnosis…. Hang on what?  Diagnosis?  That wasn’t part of the plan.  That’s not on my plan!

These days I’ve made the conscious decision that perfectionism needs to go in the bin.  It doesn’t serve me.  It doesn’t serve my mental health nor does it serve my family.  When I’m in a state of perfectionism I’m cranky, stressed and angry.  I’m not thriving and happy and joyful as I should be.   So, I choose peace over perfection every.  single.  time.

An example of this is my Christmas tree.  Recently I posted some pictures of having put up my Christmas tree.  My kids helped me put it up.  With Christmas carols blaring we put up this 6 foot Christmas tree along with Christmas decorations that were tattered and worn out.  Some decorations were cracked.  Some were chipped.  Some had lost their loop to hang on to the Christmas tree but we pilled them all on.

And after all was said and done, I looked at this twinkling Christmas tree.  My first thoughts went to all of the Instagram worthy trees I had seen splashed all over the internet.  Every decoration had been placed with much thought and precision.  Not one inch of tree branch could be seen, rather it was like a gorgeous balance of bows and bells, of stars and lights.  Yet I stood before this tree, with gaps between the branches and decorations misplaced, too close together and I thought to myself I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Even though I don’t have the perfect looking tree, it beams with so much love and pride and warmth.  Everyday I look at my tree and I’m grateful for its imperfections because it shows me that we all have flaws and yet we still love one another.

So, I type this now and ask you – please allow yourself what you need the most.  Peace over perfection.  Don’t let the idea of what life should be like stop you from living the one that you currently have.

Soak in the imperfections around and be grateful for them.  Take in the ordinary goodness because that’s what makes us unique.

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And remember You Are Seen.