Stop expecting perfection from yourself and those around you.
We do a terrible, annoying thing to others and ourselves when we expect perfection. We set up a situation where others, including ourselves, do not feel comfortable with us. Sometimes, expecting perfection makes people so uptight that they and we make more mistakes than normal because we are so nervous and focused on mistakes.
That does not mean we allow inappropriate behaviors with the excuse "nobody's perfect." That doesn't mean we don't have boundaries and reasonable expectations of people and ourselves.
But our expectations need to be reasonable. Expecting perfection is not reasonable.
People make mistakes. The less anxious, intimidated, and repressed they are by expectations of being perfect, the better they will do.
Striving for excellence, purity in creativity, a harmonious performance, and the best we have to offer does not happen in the stymied, negative, fear-producing atmosphere of expecting perfection.
Have and set boundaries. Have reasonable expectations. Strive to do your best. Encourage others to do the same. But know that others and we will make mistakes. Know that others and we will have learning experiences, things we go through.
Sometimes, the flaws and imperfections in ourselves determine our uniqueness, the way they do in a piece of art. Relish them. Laugh at them. Embrace them, and ourselves.
Encourage others and ourselves to do the best we can. Love and nurture others and ourselves for being who we are. Then realize we are not merely human - we were intended and created to be human.
Today, Higher Power, help me let go of my need to be perfect and to unreasonably insist that others are perfect. I will not use this to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, but to achieve appropriate, balanced expectations. I am creating a healthy atmosphere of love, acceptance, and nurturing around and within me. I trust that this attitude will bring out the best in other people and in me.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©
"I can't do it," a person declared as the meeting opened. "I simply can't stop drinking." That launched the evening's discussion as thirteen people offered their ideas and suggestions. One idea that emerged was that CAN'T was really WON'T. The individual was still holding back on re3commeded actions, such as attending more meetings and making excuses for not doing so. It became clear that the quest for sobriety was still only half-hearted.
In dealing with a powerful addiction, we learned long ago that half-hearted approaches don't work. That's why willingness is called the KEY to recovery. If the "Won't" factor isn't eliminated, our chances for recovery are very poor.
The fact is that most alcoholics and addicts, for reasons yet obscure,
have lost the power of choice in drink or use.
Our so-called willpower becomes practically nonexistent.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 24
Thought to Ponder . . .
Just for today, I choose not to pick up.
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
S W A T = Surrender, Willingness, Action, Trust.
If you depend on some particular thing, or person, or situation for your happiness and fulfillment, you’re setting yourself up for problems. When you depend on what you cannot control, you open the door to fear, anxiety, disappointment and other negative experiences.
However, the world outside of you can indeed provide your life with great richness. So although you don’t want to be dependent on it, you don’t want to ignore it either.
A powerful way to end dependence is with acceptance. Instead of depending on what you cannot control, peacefully accept and celebrate the goodness in whatever comes your way.
By choosing to accept life as it is, you can benefit from its richness without being imprisoned by dependence. Acceptance puts you in control of your own happiness and fulfillment.
Acceptance frees you to enjoy each moment for what it is, without being burdened by worries about what might or might not come next. Acceptance enables you to be more responsible and effective in following your own uniquely beautiful path to fulfillment.
Accept life’s richness in all its many forms, and gently let go of the dependence that would bring you down. End your dependence, and free yourself to live with authentic joy and fulfillment.
— Ralph Marston