The crossword clue read, three-letter word meaning, “be human”, the answer: “err”.
Making mistakes, missteps and errors comes with being human. Then why do we subscribe to the idea of perfectionism in so many aspects of our lives?
Our culture subscribes to being the “ideal family”, having a figure rating, a score of “10”, and the man that has it all, Mr. Perfect. Schools promote perfect attendance, restaurants and hotels are rated by counting stars and religion sometimes places a priority on saintly behavior. (We have confession for those who “err”.)
Wherever we look, we are being rated and judged to a certain standard of behavior. Often times we strive and measure ourselves against the ideal of perfectionism. But at what price?
Perfectionism is a personal self-judgment. It can lead to destructive and addictive belief systems. We seek to avoid criticism, judgment and blame. We try to fit in looking perfect.
Brene Brown compares this ideal of being perfect to a 20-ton shield that we lug around to protect us, but in reality it’s the one thing that prevents us from taking flight.
So rather than striving for perfection we should seek progress. Not that we don’t try to be the best that we can, but when we do err, we need to put the behavior in it’s place of learning the lesson, practice radical self acceptance and move on in a positive manner.
In the 1970’s there was an article in Cosmopolitan entitled, “What’s Right With Mr. Wrong.” At that time if you were not married to Mr. Perfect, raising 2 ideal children in a home surrounded by a white picket fence, something was seriously wrong with you.
The single lady being interviewed was nearly 40 years old recounting all the men that she had “moved on” from. The woman did not see each relationship as a failure, but shared what she had learned from each one. Being with Paul, brought a love for the opera, with Ted a new sport of motorcycling…..and so on.
From each relationship that could be seen as a failure, she viewed as bringing something positive in her life. Turning each misstep into a stepping stone.
So as we enjoy our human journey on earth, remember Sister Mary Vodka’s secret # 5: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”
Look for the positives!!!