As part of the human experience, we feel the push and pull of perfection. We don’t like to be told that we are wrong and we feel embarrassed when called out by our mistakes. While some of us succumb to the pressure of it more than others, the goal of perfection has entered everyone’s mind at one point or another.
I have always struggled with this.
Part of the yearning for perfection stems from the adoption process, as I talked about in timeouts; the fear of a deficiency deeming me unworthy of deserving a family. Mix in that with my personality and the way I grew up, the drive to be perfect has always been strong.
I played the piano as a child and as much as I enjoyed learning new songs and accomplishing new techniques, the piano reminded me I needed to be perfect. My mom watched over my shoulder, waiting for my fingers to miss a note or hit an incorrect key. If I practiced any less than my allotted time, I would hear “two minutes each day adds up each week and you aren’t ever going to get any better that way.”
There have been numerous examples of how perfection has had it’s hold on me throughout my life. From a pressure to get nothing less than 100% on a test to win my parents approval to a pressure to perform each piano song or dance recital without a single mistake. A pressure to act, say and do everything perfect.
There was no room for mistakes. I had to be perfect. Perfection meant I was good enough, lovable and wanted and I told myself these things for years, believing in them wholeheartedly. But, I always failed, I never measured up and the pressure I put on myself only continued to increase.
It was just too much.
I’m learning it’s okay to make mistakes and to admit I’m wrong. I’m letting go of the pressure and letting myself just be. I’m acknowledging my faults and failures, becoming a truer and more genuine version of myself.
I’m not perfect.
No one is perfect. It’s what makes us beautiful and unique. It’s the imperfections that create stories, laughter and memories. It’s the mistakes that help us learn and grow. It’s what makes humans, human.
Let’s strive to be ourselves; admit our faults and weaknesses, embracing our imperfections. Let’s stop the pressure and the expectations. Let’s be decent to each other and surround each other in acceptance.
So play your piano, make your mistakes, because note by note a beautiful masterpiece is in the making.