"Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough—that we should try again." –Julia Cameron
Good people make mistakes. (In my case, SO many mistakes!) But we're all only human, and we're bound to mess things up every now and then. That is truly living, right?! It's getting into the trenches, it's raw, it's hard, it can be ugly and somehow beautiful all at the same time. Sometimes you get it right, and if you're like me, many times you won't. But at the very end, what's most important is how well we manage to love through those messy aspects of life.
To be super vulnerable, I am very much a perfectionist. I put everything on my own shoulders; but there are only so many miles I can walk before I start losing control and the mountain I’m carrying begins to crumble and crash, knocking me (and usually everyone I love) to the ground in the process. It’s like watching a violent train derailing in slow motion. It seems like there is no feasible and safe way to stop it once it starts to jump the track.
It’s usually a self-imposed suffering or what I call “holy lies” I tell myself that start to make me feel unworthy and incapable. I set impossible goals for myself in the name of self-improvement or spiritual growth. Even just trying to keep up with the Pinterest perfect life, or have the picture perfect Instagram post are sometimes harsh weapons that pierce my heart. I struggle to meet my own expectations and then refuse to let myself off the hook for not meeting my own impossible standards.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The tried-and-true life hack for correcting your mistakes is GRACE (and often a bit of humility helps, too!) Love yourself though your mistakes and love others through theirs. Ask the Lord to give you extra grace for yourself, and you’ll see that it becomes even easier to extend that grace to others and love others (and yourself) the way He does, without condemnation. Life is unbelievably short; leave behind a legacy of kindness, and let it begin with you.
2 Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Ashley Reale is the founder of Love Everywhere, a company based on the simple idea of spreading love and kindness though hidden notes of encouragement. This year she’ll embark on the ultimate road trip with her family, traveling across the US to perform random acts of kindness and ask the people they meet to share their answer to the question, “What’s the nicest thing someone has done for you?” Their responses will be a celebration of what’s good in the world, and a reminder that we all have the ability to make a big difference in the world simply by loving others well. Follow along with her journey of kindness and join the mission to #shareloveeverywhere on Instagram: @shareloveeverywhere