I have finally got it. I understand this secret truth that all those happy folk on this earth, who walk around constantly smiling have been privy to for all of time. It is staring me straight in the face with a smirk, slapping at me round my cheeks with a dubious smoked kipper. It is stark.
The biggest problem with our Western society and associated difficulty with happiness is – the search for perfection.
No-one would admit that was what they were looking for. Oh no. That would be too obvious. But when you are striving for something that is unattainable – because it’s IMPOSSIBLE for things to be amazing all of the time – then you’re basically living a mad dream where nothing can ever go wrong. And THEN you feel like its CATASTROPHIC when it does. Because you hold everything in too much of a high regard.
The problem is, your idea of ‘perfection’:
- Lies behind your favourite Instagram filter that enhances the mirage
- Flicks your ear when you’re looking at yourself, when you’re dressed up to the nines but never feeling good enough
- Nips at your confidence when you and your ‘bae’ have a (very normal) argument that leaves you feeling that things are tainted – how would you make a status out of that date night after the shouting?
- Frightens you when work is hard, harder than you imagined – and it’s easy to want to throw the towel in – perfection makes you think it’s okay to walk away
TV made you think life could be perfect, and then social media cemented the perpetration.
Growing up we didn’t always understand the real state of the world. Parents hide truths to protect their children. But sometimes the truth is good. It allows you to take stock, acknowledge and then the best bit… move on. By painting a picture of perfection, you’re just delaying the truth. And then it hurts ten times as badly when it finally hits. POW – terrorism. POW- debt. POW – arguments. Sorry to sound in anyway negative but this is the reality. And there is a better path.
So my first piece of advice is… stop picking. Leave things be. I am not saying bury true feelings if they’re so powerful that they hurt you. But if it’s an odd niggle because you saw someone else do something lovely and you wanted that, or you had a shit day and then things were even crapper with your other half, then go to bed. Meditate. Have a bath. Spend some time doing good things for yourself. Before you know it, things seem a lot better outward and inwardly.
If life was genuinely rosy all of the time, how the hell would you know what elation felt like?
Secondly. Take that poor person (girlfriend boyfriend, husband or wife) down off that pedestal. How on earth are they ever going to live up to that ridiculous expectation you need from them and have of them. The fact you need them at all is a mistake.
Humans by their very nature are GOING TO mess up. It’s part of our DNA.
We forget, or neglect – and that could be because we’re tired or hormonal, or drunk. It doesn’t excuse it, but it’s not a reason the abuse the other person. The more you understand – laugh – run them a bath. The quicker those moods subside. Don’t throw something beautiful away for the sake of wanting perfection.
Thirdly, the best thing about getting older is actually accepting your body. Honestly if you’re under 25 it is pointless trying to say this to you. You’ll never understand. And I don’t mean that patronisingly at all. I was EXACTLY THE SAME. Just constantly desperate to be ‘thin’.
Whether you want a smaller bum or longer legs, broader shoulders or bigger boobs. Forget it. One day, I PROMISE, you’ll look in the mirror and stop focusing on the bad bits, and acknowledging the good ones.
In fact try it now – look at yourself and pull out something great. We all have stunning parts of our body and soul. Let’s celebrate those and put all that bad energy away. What good is it doing you?
Finally – once you’ve allowed yourself to let go of so many ideas of ‘perfection’ that can never be. Then pat yourself on the back. AND STOP LOOKING OUTWARDS! Come off social media if you can, or never EVER look at a picture of a happy family/a night out/a wedding/an engagement etc. etc. etc. and feel inadequate.
You do NOT KNOW what is going on behind closed doors. Believe me – every perfect story I have seen has just been a steaming pile of bullshit underneath.
Judge yourself by your own standards not other peoples.
For me, the most beautiful things about the people that are special in my life are their imperfections. The cute moles, the scatty flyaway hair, the scars that tell a story. The bad laughs, the tendency to repeat themselves, their neuroses that make you feel slightly more sane, until you open up about your own.
Imperfect is original. Perfect is fake.
In fact, perfect is bullshit. Perfect is 100 selfies for one picture. Its breathing in at the gym and sharing on instagram. Perfect is endless hashtags to prove your worth. It’s buying expensive things because they’re ‘on trend’. Perfection is pretending to be someone you’re not, when its the opposite that makes you perfect.
Imperfect is perfect.