3 Ways IMPERFECTION Serves Us and Our Children

November 17, 2011
The dictionary defines guilt as “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined”. This wrong that we experience and the subsequent feelings comes from the misalignment between knowing (on a deep intuitive level) that something is right for you to do, be or have and the absence of it. Mothers today are plagued by a deep, complicated guilt. One that does not often have clear cut way out. The guilt of not being perfect. In this post I am going to tell you three ways IMPERFECTION serves us and our children.

We are so hard on ourselves for making mistakes, for not having it all figured out! We beat ourselves up for being physically, mentally and emotionally imperfect in the realization that we simply cannot give our ALL to everything in our lives. We feel bad when we see other moms succeeding “doing” more than we do, or doing it better. We are harder on ourselves than we would ever be with the others in our lives.

But what I see so clearly is that for many of us, we simply don’t know better. We live in a society where external performance is the measuring stick for success, so the image that is projected to the world becomes paramount in defining who we are. But striving for perfection, having perfection as a goal is both unattainable and empty.

It is my DREAM that there be a global shift in perspective and we begin to understand the real dynamics of life and our real roles as mother. I do not believe that our children want or need us to be perfect. I think it is quite the opposite really. Let me explain by telling you about the 3 ways imperfection serves us and our children:

1. What I would love for all mother’s to understand and embrace everyday is this concept that our “mistakes” or “failures” help to make us who we are, it is what is part of molding us into the kind of people and mothers we are meant to be. We cannot start out or assume at any point in our journey as mothers thinking we are going to get it all right! That is asking to suffer! We must recognize early on and be conscious about the fact that we are going to have our successes and our failures, but that it is ALL GOOD! I see our journey like the squares of fabric that make up a beautiful quilt. Have you ever really looked at or studied one? I have. When I look at a beautiful quilt, some of the pieces of fabric are quite ugly, and some are really exquisite, but somehow they all fit together to make a BEAUTIFUL creation.
What a world, what dynamic healthy families would there be if every mother embraced the natural duality of her life, celebrating her successes, forgiving herself for the thing she did less well and then getting excited about learning and doing better next time!!2. Striving to be this perfect source of love for our children is also unrealistic. Many of us want to be everything for our children. Much of this need within us comes from healing wounds from our past…doing this mommy thing better than our mothers did. There is so much wonderful healing that can be experienced with children, there is no doubt, but what holds us back is when we assume that we are messing our kids up when we don’t ALWAYS show up in loving ways. It simply isn’t possible to do so. And our children do NOT need us to. In addition to feeling love from you, a child also needs to learn rely on himself for feelings of love and security and if you are constantly providing your child a safe place to fall, shoulder to cry on, constant understanding, the child will constantly defer to YOU to make himself feel good and not develop the ability to soothe himself – to learn the art of finding good thoughts, good feelings within himself.
I think this one may be possibly hard for some moms to understand, but it is about again, recognizing that there are gifts, things to learn in even the negative, contrasting experiences in our lives. Don’t shun these experiences. We ALL have good days and bad days as moms and if we allow ourselves, get conscious about your relationship to love and how you love AND choose to see the bad days as a chance to learn, a chance for both you and your child to grow, and the guilt you suffer from will disappear.3. Guilt is actually a wonderful thing!! Imagine…when you feel guilt you are actually being given super clear information about the gap between where you are now and where you want to be! What happens to most of us though is that we tend to only focus on the gap…the space where what we want does not exist. Focusing on that only makes the gap wider. Use the moments you feel guilty to focus on what you want more of. Feeling guilty about working all the time and not spending enough quality time with your children? Focus your attention on imagining what it would be like to have both! Feel what that would feel like WITHOUT feeling guilty about it and WITHOUT thinking about HOW it is going to happen. Your reality is created by what you give your attention to. As we shift our focus to what we don’t have to what we desire, the Universe conspires and collaborates with us. You will begin to see opportunities to live a more balanced life.Learn to move past the guilt and use it to attract what you want more of out of life!  I would love to hear what you think of the gifts of IMPERFECTION!

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  • Reply Lisa Benton November 18, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for such a great post on this topic-escaping perfectionism can be a tough plight for many of us. You did a fabulous job looking at the other side of the coin!

    • Reply Sigrid November 19, 2011 at 5:10 am

      Thank you Lisa!!

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