black and white
good and bad
yes and no
this or that
These are the phrases that have defined my life.
I have held it to a standard of perfection; and I have believed that if I could not be 100% perfect and the best at everything I did, then I was not good.
I’m saying “have” like this is already conquered. It’s not. So I guess I should be saying I hold myself to a standard of perfection. And that I do believe that if I am not 100% perfect at every single thing I do then I am not good.
Wow. Those are some big beliefs that I hold about myself.
But first off, before we dive into these ideas, I would like to take a moment to celebrate.
I want to celebrate the FACT that I just WROTE THOSE WORDS! I wrote out what I believe about myself, and that I know that those are harmful beliefs.
GUYS A FEW MONTHS AGO I WOULD HAVE NEVER SAID THAT!!!!
I wouldn’t have been able to admit it to myself.
SO I AM GOING TO CELEBRATE MYSELF TODAY!!
But back to the beliefs. This is something my therapist and I have been talking a ton about in therapy recently. We’ve talked about how I hold myself to an unattainable standard, and that I am a perfectionist. We’ve talked about what my “ideal” friendship is (the kind of friend I want to be to other people) and what the reality that I believe is (how I think I actually behave). We’ve talked about how I am hard on myself but show everybody else grace and how I believe I can never be what I’m supposed to be but that everybody else can do it.
We’ve talked about the shame that comes from this, and the guilt that I feel.
We’ve talked about how I take this out on myself and refuse to let myself feel certain things towards people.
You see, I believe that I should never be upset or frustrated at someone. I believe that I need to put their needs first and disregard mine. I believe that everyone else come before me regardless of how I am. So because of this, if I ever feel myself getting mad or frustrated at someone, I get mad at myself for getting mad at them. And in friendships, I will not have opinions or thoughts because I want the other person to have the best friendship they’ve ever had so I will become whatever they want me to be.
This leads to me diminishing myself, making myself smaller and losing who I am in order to protect those around me and in order to not disappoint people.
Because I thought that if people were disappointed in me or mad at me then I was not good.
BUT LIFE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THAT
We are made to feel happy and sad and frustrated and full of joy and life as well as sorrow and hurt. Life isn’t one feeling all the time. Life isn’t a black and white, this or that kinda thing.
Even if I do something I’m not supposed to do, I am not bad.
Even if I am not 100% perfect at everything I do, I still am good. I still have value.
Even if I am not the best friend all the time, I am a good friend.
Even if I feel mad at someone, that doesn’t make me bad or them bad or my feelings bad.
I read something once that said something about how you cannot pick and choose which emotions you want to feel. Because if you shut off all the “bad” emotions, then you’ll inevitably end up shutting off the “good” emotions as well.
We aren’t meant to feel this or that. Or be this or that.
It’s okay to mess up. Messing up doesn’t make me a bad person. Being perfect doesn’t make me a good person. I am a person. I have intrinsic value because I do. I do not need to be perfect to prove my worth. I can succeed at things and fail at things and make friendships and lose friendships and make my friends mad at me and be mad at people and love people and do everything in between because that is how life is supposed to be lived.
Life isn’t black and white. Life is shades of grey.
Life is bitter and life is sweet. There are plenty of wonderful good times, but there are also dark sad and hurt times. And that is okay. And that is how I want life to be. I want it to be every shade of all the colors because I let myself feel everything and experience everything.
So today, I am learning to show myself grace and to not hold myself to a standard of perfection, but rather one of grace and excellence.
I am learning.
I am learning.