Is it ok to be imperfect and still be happy? Is it ok to not have everything sorted at once? Is it ok to be perfectly imperfect and yet embrace the glorious mess we are?
Too many questions to start with, but isn’t it worthy to ask these questions to yourself once in a while? Too not go hard on yourself? Oops, questions again. See even I am not perfect but many feel that I am, what is important to me is, I am happy, I am content and I sleep satisfied.
In this blog, let us talk about the “being perfect” pressure a woman goes through in her life and how is it ok to be imperfect in the already messy world around us.
Is It Ok To Be Imperfect?
We all know the very famous Harry Potter, and I came across one beautiful quote via Professor Dumbledore where he tells Harry that there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest with those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.
I wonder the day we become perfect, what will we do next? What will we thrive for? If all our goals are accomplished, if we become the most perfect version of us and if I become the most perfect blogger, what will I do next?
For me, the pressure of sustaining and retaining that perfectionism is higher than the pressure of becoming perfect in everything I do. I would like to be imperfect because, through this process, I never cease to learn, grow, and live. The day I will know everything, I might not even like it anymore.
Six imperfect challenges a woman faces in her daily life
Women do it all the time, we seek perfection in everything, in our body, in our relationships, in the kitchen, as a parent, and as a working woman. I feel like many other things, perfection doesn’t exist. We can literally ruin the beauty of our life in a quest for perfection.
We try to become a perfect daughter in law to please our mother in law who doesn’t even like us and just to be in her good books we start to lose ourselves, what will we be left with us in the end? We try to look pretty all the time so that our husband could still find us attractive, we try to fit into the motherhood mania and try to be perfect in culinary skills too.
For some women, these things come naturally, and some force and pressurize themselves to match them, compete with them, and even exceed them, which leaves them anxious and agitated in the end. Drop each of the baggage you are holding to, drop all the layers of expectations and pressure you are hoarding just to look perfect all the time. Only then you will discover your true self and you will love what you are becoming in the process.
Here are the challenges we go through in our daily life as a woman:
|1.) Ms. Beautiful|
|2.) Ms. Masterchef|
|3.) Ms. Mommy|
|4.) Ms. Organised|
|5.) Ms. Multitasker|
|6.) Ms. Fit or Miss-fit?|
1.) Ms. Beautiful
There is this set of women for whom looking good is the prime essentiality of their daily routine. They have set a benchmark of beauty for themselves and they don’t want to go below the mark. They will get up and deck and then show up. For some time they enjoy it but just when they get busy with their daily life, household chores, office work and primarily after becoming a mother, they somehow don’t get time to deck up daily and a part of them miss it, crave for it because it is their idea of perfectionism.
How it will not cost your mental peace? You will feel irritated, anxious and not feel like yourself because it is totally an imperfect version of your life, but let me tell you something with the changing time and situation you can always find some perfect ways without going harsh on yourself. It is ok to be imperfect but not ok to be unhappy about yourself.
2.) Ms. Masterchef
Women and the kitchen co-exist, as women spend the major part of their life in the kitchen they feel the kitchen is the only area that belongs to them and for some women life is all about balancing the right amount of salt in the food. I have seen my mom going all panicky if she misses putting salt in food or her curry doesn’t turn up the way she wanted it to be, although she has won a MasterChef trophy for real.
The amount of pressure she goes through just because she has to be perfect in the kitchen all the time disturbs me and I keep on telling her that maa, you serve us unconditionally and, you cook the most delicious food in the world, so it is absolutely alright when you cook an average meal one day. This is what we need to say to ourselves, that yes it is ok, today salt is more and spices are less, I will cook better tomorrow and leave that guilt right there.
3.) Ms. Mommy
The new Social Media culture leaves a lot of mothers with anxiety when they see other mothers balancing everything so perfectly. They work-out, they look beautiful all the time, their children look well-groomed and when you look at your kid who just jumped over your head and stole your mobile phone, you curse your life.
Let me tell you something, you will hardly see anyone posting reality on Instagram or Facebook. We all post our perfect pictures telling perfect stories of our life. No one posts about their failure and how they struggle to raise a kid, so please relax keep doing what you are doing mommy because mama knows the best.
4.) Ms. Organised
Ok so you entered your friend’s house and you see a messy living room, fully haywire. Toys are scattered everywhere and a huge pile of clothes waiting to be folded by her highness. You immediately think that look at the condition of the house because you have a different understanding of being organized and keeping things in order.
But your friend must be putting her priority on her kids today, maybe she took a day off to get into self-care, or maybe she was simply feeling lazy to not do anything. So is it ok to be imperfect and not get judged? Practically speaking no, because everyone has their own standard of perfectionism and it is hard to fit into everyone’s theory. So just do what you can do as only you know your capacity and limits.
5.) Ms. Multitasker
We, women, feel pride in getting labeled as a multitasker. We feel happy about it, but this label also brings a lot of pressure along with it. You know you are expected to stay strong and active all the time. People get used to seeing you as a multitasker and on days when you lack energy and need a break. Nobody really understands that because of your image.
Draw a boundary line and check on your mental health here, this is not a test of your capability but your capacity. You cannot pour from an empty cup, right? So takes occasional breaks and allocates work to other family members too.
6.) Ms. Fit or Miss-fit?
This is the biggest challenge I guess, you can’t have it and you crave it all the time, you want it but can’t work-out to achieve it. A perfect miss-fit? We again have a benchmark of beauty that says only fair women are beautiful and slim women are stunning. So to achieve this most of the women go so hard on themselves that they do fasting, eat less, work-out, and never enjoy the transcend a fitness journey would have given to them.
Focus on being fit and eventually, you will lose that weight too. You need to accept yourself first and it depends upon how you carry yourself when you love yourself, you feel good about yourself and just when you feel good about yourself, you look good.
Well, now when I have listed a few challenges we face as a woman and how we pressurize ourselves to look perfect and do things perfectly, I would like to share something very beautiful with you 🙂 so let me introduce something to you, which will change your perspective towards life.
The Wabi-Sabi way of embracing imperfections
Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese traditional concept of seeing perfections or beauty in imperfections, the quality we as humans lack bigtime. A few months back, I came across this beautiful concept and I loved the fact that something like this exists so I thought of sharing it with you guys.
In simple words, Wabi-Sabi is a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay. Namely, Imperfection, Impermanence, and Incompleteness.
We seek perfection and have set a benchmark for beauty and flaws. In such a situation it becomes difficult to refer to such teachings but just imagine the message it holds and its true essence when applied in our daily life, might do wonders.
How can we apply Wabi-Sabi in our daily life?
So again I will begin with a question, how hard is accepting yourself as imperfect, full of flaws, in-transition, unfinished, and then going deeper and understanding your reality?
- If we decide we can see the beauty in everything, we can be grateful for even a cup of morning tea or coffee.
- If we decide and allow things to take shape at their own pace, it might bloom and flourish in the long term.
In the end, I cannot finish my writing without putting an angle of Mental Health in my blog. With this concept, I realized there does exist a philosophy that suggests sentiments of desolation and solitude. From seeking beauty in peace to finding joy in flaws we learn to accept the flawed beauty of life existing around us. From ignoring little imperfections and scars we embrace the wisdom we acquire as we age and we understand life with more clarity.
So what do you think, is it ok to be imperfect?
Lots of love and gratitude
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.