Can we make peace with our shortcomings and love ourselves more fully? Why do we have so much trouble with our imperfections? It can be difficult for us to admit our shortcomings. Perhaps it is because we have set a standard of perfection for ourselves. It may be an unreasonable standard, but it is an understandable one. Here’s what I mean:

We are perfectly imperfect humans, yet we live in a world that is constantly expecting perfection from us. We get the message from an early age that there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We go to school and take tests that have the ‘right’ answer or the ‘wrong’ answer, like spelling, math, and science. We work in the computer age now where everything must be correct or we get an error message. We have jobs at work where we are expected to do our jobs correctly or we will be fired. All around us are signs that we need to ‘get it right’ or there will be consequences, sometimes dire, to pay. Given all of this, is it any wonder that we have a drive for believing in this myth of self-perfection? We end up in conflict within ourselves, whether we realize it consciously or not, because of this standard of perfection. It is an impossible task. We can do our best. But when we make a mistake, it is better to recognize this as an integral part of life, rather than an aberration in it. We accept and forgive ourselves and each other, and move on from there.

We don’t need to overcome our shortcomings. Let’s accept that they are inherent in us. Let’s realize we are doing the best we can. We can strive to do better next time. In the meantime, let’s not turn our frustration around our impossible standard of perfection in on ourselves and call ourselves ‘not good enough’. We can make peace with our shortcomings through self-compassion and forgiveness.

A secret to happiness and finding peace with ourselves is in accepting that each of us is fallible and understand the nature of change as a constant. We have the opportunity to begin anew in every moment. We can make a commitment to be the person we want to be, and have self-compassion when we fall short of the standards we set for ourselves.

If we want to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’, we need to understand that we ourselves are the change agent. We live in a world where change is the constant, and we ourselves are constantly changing. We cannot effect change without changing who we are, and we cannot bend to the changes in life without ourselves changing as well. If we are to meet the changes inherent in life, we need to recognize that we are vehicles for change as well.

When we finally accept that our imperfections are part of us, that being human is learning to accept who we are, warts and all, we discover our worth. We find that the objective of life is to live it. If we are living for some impossible to achieve, yet hopeful result of embodying perfection in the future, we miss living in the present, where all the real magic of life takes place. Forgive whatever you perceive your faults to be. Make peace with yourself. Realize that it is enough to live life, right now, the best you know how. There is no ‘perfect way’ to do life. There is only living it.

Love yourself like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

And our worth was never up for debate. We were and are always worthy.

Elizabeth's Blog, Living Beyond Chronic Pain

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