My motivation for naming this blog that way was to be a safe place where women could be reminded that they are not alone in their imperfections.
Before I began blogging here, I would see all these blogs with gorgeous crafts and delicious recipes, profound parenting advice, or home organization tips that would blow my mind.
And I would come away discouraged.
I can’t cook. I can’t keep my house clean or organized to save my life. When I do a craft people think it was my kindergartner’s art project.
And when I would see these bloggers and their beautiful lives I would feel hopeless, knowing that there was no possible way for me to enjoy those things in my home.
I’m having a good day if I get a shower. And if I shave my legs, it’s an AMAZING day! If I get my toenails painted somewhere in there, I think I am on top of the world!
Until I realize that it’s 5 pm and I have no idea what I’m making for dinner, and the baby decides that would be a perfect opportunity for her to start screaming, and the kids decide they’re going to fight and argue and one of them pulls a jug of milk out of the fridge and spill the whole thing on the kitchen floor.
And then mama loses her cool in the midst of it all.
And then I realize I’m not so on top of things after all.
So I started this blog as a place to show more than the highlight reels of life.
But I got off track a little bit, and it wasn’t done by accident either.
I simply got tired of being hurt.
When I would try to be honest about my struggles with keeping a clean house, inevitably someone would comment about how I just obviously wasn’t working hard enough at it.
When I would share some crazy antic that my child did, someone would be sure to let me know that if I were just more present with my children, my toddlers would never get into any mischief.
I got tired of people who don’t struggle with the same things that I do not understanding where I’m coming from. I got tired of hearing the women who have the gift of magic sparkle saying that if I would just do x, y, and z I would have no trouble keeping my house clean or my brain screwed on straight. (The gift of magic sparkle is what women have who seem to effortlessly keep their house sparkling. They’re the ones who apologize for their messy house because they found a crumb on the floor. I just made that up in case you wondered.) They don’t seem to know that I’ve tried over and over to do x, y, but z and my house still looks dirtier at the end of the day than it was before I started cleaning.
And when I say I’ve tried and failed, they say I’m making excuses and that I could do better if I just tried a little harder. They don’t know how much I beat myself up every single day for not measuring up to the standards I’ve set for myself and that their well-intentioned comments are only aiding my discouragement.
And I knew if I was feeling the condemnation, those of you who struggle in the same areas were probably feeling it too. So I started keeping the struggles to myself. I decided not to even bring the hard parts up and just focus on sharing the successes once they were reached.
But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I had to realize that my feelings of condemnation are not coming from a place of truth.
I was letting what other people said to me (or what I perceived they were thinking about me – yeah, I do that one a lot too) get to me.
But I failed to remember that they aren’t perfect either.
I saw a quote somewhere that said,
There are no perfect people; some just hide it better than others.
I was looking around at everyone else with their perfectly clean houses, their perfectly behaved children, and their perfectly planned meals and thinking that I was a miserable failure compared to them.
And that’s where the big problem comes in — that little word compare.
The Bible says that comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise. (II Corinthians 10:12)
When I look at others I’m always going to feel like I’m not as good as someone else. There’s always going to be somebody prettier, more talented, more organized, more Godly, etc., etc., etc.
But the point of life isn’t to find the most perfect person and try to be like them.
Because the most perfect person might not have any problems that show outwardly – she might have a gorgeous house, serve gourmet meals, and have little angel children, but there is no doubt she has her own problems. Maybe she is not very wise or frugal with money, or maybe she yells at her kids or argues with her husband when no one is around, or maybe she struggles with overeating.
That very person who is making you feel like a failure may very well be feeling shame over how fat she is or how ugly she is. She who looks so perfect might be wishing she could better control her tongue or her thought life.
There are no perfect people.
We’re all hopelessly flawed.
So it’s time to stop setting other people up as our standard for living. It’s time to stop feeling like a failure because we don’t measure up to some preconceived notion of who someone else is.
When we realize we are all in this together – this journey to holiness and to improving ourselves in the areas where we are not as skilled – we will be able to release ourselves from the condemnation of not measuring up.
When we see others who struggle in one area where we are more talented, we will be willing to help without judgment.
Let’s release ourselves from the myth that there are perfect people.
Let’s strive to help one another toward holiness and be understanding when we fail.
Let’s each be the unique person that God made us to be and live the life that He intended us to live.
Your friend on the journey,
I began this conversation today in my weekly newsletter and I was absolutely blown away by the responses. I know this is something that people want to hear more of. I think we all need a reminder that no one is perfect, and it helps to see a little more of the “real life” side of bloggers. If this is you, and you’re not afraid of my getting a little messy in front of you, I encourage you to sign up for my weekly newsletter where we can connect a little more often!