Imagine if you stopped right now, and accepted that you are you.
That you accepted your flaws with loving grace, and just for a few moments you silenced the tracks that play in your head of self criticism or self hate.
I stopped listening to the self criticism two years ago.
You see I’m a recovering perfectionist. After losing my Mum and then my Dad, I sought to hold on, to make my life perfect, that somehow by doing this, it would protect me from further loss. Did this work? No.
It was by becoming a Mum, and realising that I couldn’t be the “perfect” mother, that there was not enough hours in the day, not enough energy within me, to actually achieve this mythical status. So instead, I silenced the inner critic – who is still there, waiting for me to let it back in, and actually started to enjoy accepting myself.
Trust me, there is a lot to gain in acceptance. You. Yourself. And the peace of mind, in accepting that yes there are things you would like to change, but right now, you’re fine. You’re lovable, worthy, and a wonderful human being. And no matter how hard or how dark life can get, you will always find the hope to keep moving, and keep going.
This is one of the lessons I have learnt, and it’s one that I celebrate each day, self acceptance. And it frees up the time I used to devote to perfectionism, to self criticism, to trying to be someone I could never be, instead, I live a richer, fuller life, because I’m achieving in my own way, at my own pace.
I’ve gone back to University to study in a field I’ve always wanted to explore – I’m 44 now and I want a different career, one that will help people. I’m living a smaller, less consumer driven lifestyle, and enjoying every second of learning new skills, and new ways. You see I’m living the life I want, not what society expects, or what the self critic expects.
I’ve come to learn that spending time with my son is more important than trying to keep the house spotless, that the joy of play is more important to my son than whether I’ve found the time to sweep the floors and that time spent with my family, tops anything money can buy.
I may not have found your version of true happiness, but for me I am happy with being me.