“If most of us stopped to examine the expectations we set for ourselves, we would discover that our concept of perfection is so unrealistic that it can’t exist in one person. Instead, its a combination of pieces or snippets of what’s perceived as perfect. We don’t just want to be good at what we do, we want to be perfect–we want to edit together all the best clips of what we see to form our lives.”
Brene Brown, page 174, I Thought It Was Just Me But It Wasn’t
Last week, I brought you all into our home for the Clean Your Home for Christmas Challenge. I showed you my messy drawers, my unpacked suitcases, my untidy closets, and gave you a peek into real-life here.
Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how those posts would be taken. It’s always a little intimidating to press publish on posts that are far from perfect.
But can I be really honest with you? Letting you into our home — to see the underbelly, as it were, of our lives — was so freeing for me.
Again and again, women commented and said, “Thank you for being real. It’s so good to know I’m not alone.”
You’re Not Alone
The messes, the fact that I don’t hit all my goals, the unkempt closets, the suitcases that don’t get unpacked for months… they all bear witness to the fact that I’m a work in progress just like you.
I hope that it encourages you to know that I don’t have my ducks in an alphabetical row. Far from it. I deal with have stuff bombs and dust bunnies and bad hair days, just like you.
In this online world beaming with Pinterest-staged pictures, it’s easy to start feeling like we’re the only one who has laundry piles, unwashed dishes, and sticky countertops.
We can be tempted to try to photoshop out the messes, slap on plastic smiles, and pretend we don’t have some ugly, messy, or struggles in our life and home.
But that’s not real life.
We All Have Struggles
I tried being a people-pleaser for years. And let me tell you this: not only is it completely exhausting, it’s lonely.
I’ve discovered it’s so much better to let people get to know me for exactly who I am — messes and struggles and all — than to wear myself out putting on an act in an effort to please someone.
Real, authentic relationships only happen when we’re willing to stop pretending and start being honest about our struggles.
No one — no matter how put together they may seem — is exempt from hard things.
We all have struggles. We all have burdens. We all have areas where we fall short. We all have literal and metaphorical “junk drawers” in our homes and lives.
Let’s stop photoshopping our lives and instead welcome people in right where we’re at. It won’t always be pretty, put-together, or Pinterest-worthy, but it will certainly be much more fulfilling and freeing!