Today’s post was written by guest blogger, Sue Ludwig. Sue is a neonatal occupational therapist and a published poet. She is a consultant to neonatal intensive care units around the country and a national speaker. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.
After dinner at one of Christine’s retreats, some of us lingered on the beautiful screened porch. It was late, and we slowly allowed the conversation to go deeper.
One of the women commented about how inadequate she feels in her neighborhood – a community where everyone is “just so perfect.” Immaculate homes. Genius children. Husband or wife, successful, outgoing…the stellar couple.
The rest of us (a few years older) smiled with empathy. We may have even chuckled.
We assured her — they too have sh*t hiding behind the pretty wreath on the door.
Life and its little problems do not care about your gated community, or lack thereof. They favor no section of society.
And living as if unscathed is exhausting, like being in a play that never ends.
The group offered her some unsolicited advice:
Find people who are through pretending everything is perfect. People who admit and even laugh at the fact they have tumbleweeds of dog fur under their bed, have been in debt up to their eyeballs, or ohmigod packed their child a “Lunchable” for his school lunch, (and not the perky fruit that the perfect moms pack!)
It is an agreement to drop the façade. Or as Christine would say, permission to live imperfectly.
Accepting imperfection does not mean we’re suddenly cynical, or lack ambition, or have spite for those people working hard at pretending. It just means we get to let go of all the ‘shoulds’ we carry around and all the societal expectations we assign ourselves. We get to do what we love to do. We let go of what tethers us.
For example, if you ever saw me attempt to sew on a button you may wet your pants laughing. It’s that pitiful. Therefore, my friend Terri is going to hem my daughter’s skirt this weekend. When we admit to imperfection, asking for help is allowed, and even encouraged. We’re able to see each other’s strengths because we’re not too busy trying to pretend we all have the same ones.
Once you become comfortable in your imperfect skin, like-souled people seem to surface at any type of event, even in line at Starbucks. It’s the Imperfection Connection.
Enjoy these people. Allow them to enjoy you. See what you begin to let go of, and how light you feel when you walk.
Yes, even in your perfect neighborhood.
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