Ah, perfection. The greatest illusion ever, probably.
Over the years, I’ve realised that not only is our striving for faultlessness a losing game, but a rather unnecessary one. While nobody has and ever will reach such levels, there have are people who look as if they are close. They aren’t-not even remotely. They’re also fairly boring. Many of the things we see as imperfections are actually just quirks, unique to us. We ignore a bigger point too-perfection isn’t linear. In life, there is more than just black and white, right and wrong. There’s more than greyscale too. There are faces of perfection- so many of them. Chances are, to someone, for something, you fit the bill.
Something I’ve noticed myself doing lately is putting others on pedestals. Specifically, the pedestal of perfection. I don’t necessarily expect this of anybody even. It’s just something I’m feeling. I think I’ve taken to almost villainising myself. Making myself out to be bad and incompetent compared to others. Realistically, I know there is nothing wrong with me, nor with others. There are two recent examples in my relationships that I can draw from- recently the facade of my best friend having much better lives than me fell away when I realised that they also struggle with mental health issues. Having gone through some things that have completely changed me, I realise now, more than ever, how isolating it can be to struggle with unseen pain. While mental health issues are becoming much more commonplace and therefore less taboo, they are still an uncomfortable topic for many. Chances are that if you don’t struggle with a mental health issue, someone you love and care about does. It is very close to home for many. I found about my friends struggles once I let on about mine. We’d broken down a wall and were now in a place of complete honesty and transparency about our realities. It was very difficult for me to realise that we were all hurting. Pain avoidance is just a human thing. If I can’t make things better for myself, I at least want to be able to do so for the people close to me. I told them that it was surprising to hear because they seemed so happy. It turned out they had thought the same about me.. to the point that one friend had felt like asking what my secret to happiness was!
I often get described as being incredibly cheerful which is strange to me. I mean, I live with myself.. every single thing my mind thinks, feels, I know it. It isn’t always a pretty place to be. This, my friends, is the human spirit. We are resilient and brave beyond measure. We continue to march on through seasons of continuous, unrelenting struggle.
The second incident happen within my relationship with my boyfriend. I won’t go into detail but I had always seen him as someone who had it together.. at least more than me. Someone I could rely on, learn from, always be sure of. I was disappointed because what had occurred was so out of character and strange. It made me feel doubtful of myself. At the same time, it allowed me to see him more honestly, as an imperfect being. To not accept bad treatment, but to allow him to not have it all together. In a strange way, I’d kind of been looking at him as some sort of god… not a suitable way to see any person, really.
How hard will I fall off this pedestal that I have so proudly perched myself on? This is a question I think we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. Sometimes it’s okay to fail miserably, to see uncomfortable versions of ourselves and others. At the end of the day, as long as we aim to show changed behaviour, to progress, we are doing okay.
It is my hope that when my image of fabricated perfection falls away once and for all, I am loved more for being vulnerable and authentic. Mature love for ourself and others looks like recognition. Recognition of the fact that we are who we are and not an ideal.. and no less worthy for it.