As my son was having his first experience endorsing a check, he squalled, “I made a mistake.”
As I tried to reassure him that it was okay, and that there are few things in life that require perfection, I wondered when I would embrace that lesson for myself.
When will I learn that I am enough just the way that I am? What about you? Is that something that you struggle with in your life?
I have a picture in my mind of what my life is supposed to look like. That includes my house, my work and my family--even my appearance.
But you know what? There is nothing about my life that is perfect. It is sometimes chaotic, crazy and messy. My children are sassy and occasionally their behavior in public embarrasses me. On top of everything, my wrinkles and cellulite are here to stay.
I’m not perfect. There I said it. It’s even in print.
But while I know that I’m not perfect, I find myself making comparisons. I’m horrified to admit that when I see other women in their daily walks I am thinking: “How is it that their life is so perfect!”
Everyone else seems to be balancing their responsibilities effortlessly. They have it all figured out. They are smart and confident. They are gorgeous. And then I think: “I want her perfect life.”
But the real truth is that is just one glimpse. I have no idea how other people struggle. I don’t know their story, their pain or their imperfections.
Maybe I’m only seeing the polished Instagram posts or the highlight reel in their Facebook feeds. This reminds me of a quote, “If social media was a human, you’d only be seeing their good side,” (unknown).
There is no such thing as the perfect life, the perfect parent or perfect anything. It’s an illusion and a fantasy.
All we can do is strive to do our best and know that we are not alone.
That was the crux of the message I heard on Friday evening when I attended the Women of Faith Sisters event in Lincoln. Patsy Clairmont, Anita Renfroe and Jan Silvious spoke to the group as if they were having an intimate chat with us individually. They shared stories of their own lives that I could easily relate to.
They talked about friendship, and while I attended with my daughter and a new friend, I couldn’t help thinking about my college roommate. We reconnected after many years and make it a habit to talk by phone every couple of weeks. There are a lot of similarities in our lives, but a lot of differences, too.
What makes our friendship work, however, is our ability to keep it real. I can tell her how utterly exhausted I am without fearing that she will think less of me because I admitted that I don’t want to be an adult today. She tells me about her boys’ latest adventures. We laugh, we cry and we pray. We are genuine and unedited. I hope everyone can have a friend like that someday.
We are not perfect, but as I was reminded at the “Sisters” event, “broken crayons can still color a beautiful picture.” And I believe that it is all by God’s perfect design.
God put us in the same dorm room almost 30 years ago for a purpose. We are in each other’s life to encourage, support and sometimes entertain.
My prayer is that I am the type of friend that will remind others that, no matter their imperfect situation, “you alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone,” (Maya Angelou).