To be perfect, or not to be perfect. That is the question.
Well, my answer to this question is that I’d rather, much rather, not be perfect. Otherwise my life would be over by now and I’m not ready to go yet. God no, I’ve just started.
I used to think though, it was very important to be just that: perfect. And every second I proved myself not to be, was a burden on me. So, you can imagine how heavy it felt, that load on my shoulders. I was literally dragging myself through life. More or less with a smile on my face, because the irony of it all was: I didn’t have a clue!
Coming from a well-off background of hardworking, smart, goodlooking, creative, sportive and overall succesful people, I made sure I’d fit in. Thís didn’t cost me a whole lot of effort. Because I’m smart. Goodlooking-enough. Creative-enough. Sportive-enough. Succesful-enough.
But there it is, you see, the quintessence of my story: goodlooking-, creative-, sportive-enough wasn’t góód-enough for me. Because the environment I grew up in, was competitive and one of comparison, as is society as such, and somewhere along the line I began to believe that being good-enough meant being Number One. But in all of those fine characteristics of my surroundings, I never was number one.
Since I always saw the good-better-best in people around me, but had my eyes wide shut towards myself, I never came in first. Never best, never perfect. Basically a failure. Thus extra load on the shoulders, that started dropping along with my motivation.
A very saddening and tiring mechanism. So at one point my smile became a grin, a little while later that grin started to look gloomy. And then, out of the blue, someone I accidently met, stopped me in my track and said: “Whát is wrong with you? Whát, for f***s sake, are you drágging yourself around for through life?!”
This sounds horrible, rather insulting actually, doesn’t it? To just come out and say something like that, unasked for? But guess what. It was like a bolt of lightning that hit home.
I think this “insult” was one of the most profound presents I’ve ever received. It set in motion a life-changing process, in which I started to open my eyes to myself. And by doing that, to all those others around me. In a totally different way then before: unconditionally and non-judging instead of by comparison and competition.
This path I’m walking is slippery, full of ditches and false notes and sometimes dark and lonely. And it scares me. Until I remember that the path is the who/what/why I am. And that’s the moment that happiness fills me and I feel lucky that I have thís path to walk. Because it taught and teaches me the most valuable lessons in my life:
- To love myself means to be completely honest to myself and unconditionally accept my own answers. Even the ones I will not like.
- Kindness comes in all sorts of packages. Not only with a smile or a ribbon around it.
- To understand someone means to really see that person. By looking beyond what meets the eye.
- To listen not only with the ears but with all my senses.
- Good-enough is exactly what it says it is: Good. Enough. No need for better or best.
- And I want to be as near to myself as possible because that is where I belong.
The only way to really get there is to keep on walking. One step after another I put my feet down along my wonderfully imperfect path, that will bring me home. And gives me my drive and motivation to help others to do exactly the same; their way.
Dit stuk plaatste ik afgelopen week op Linkedin ter aanvulling op mijn professionele profiel, omdat ik ervan overtuigd ben dat het zo werkt: mensen meenemen in wie/wat/waarom je bent. Doodeng, want mijn weg in essentie. En daarom ook voor Van Dichtbij.