I’m not sure whether it stems from the years of my childhood I spent trying to be “the best” at whatever I was undertaking, but there is always that small, nagging voice in my head that likes to remind me that I could do better. Whether it is at housekeeping, artistry, writing, mothering, wife-ing, praying – whatever it is – there is that life-draining voice that picks at every flaw.
In this age of social media, that voice has far more fodder as people share their highlight reel while you are living your bloopers. We recently moved into a new home four days before having bambino number three. In my head, I wanted to have the walls painted and place decorated to perfection before returning to work. You know what? I am guessing this will shock you, but that did not happen. In fact, most days we are doing good if the dirty diapers have all been thrown away and the bibs and onesies with spit-up on them are in the laundry bins.
I still have my list of home renovations, and multitudes of other “to-do” lists, but a funny thing happened once the hormones stopped raging after childbirth. I finally learned to live with “good enough.” I finally learned that sometimes what we are doing in the present is worth more in its imperfection than every effort to attain a standard of perfect with a moving measure. I finally let someone come to the house even though it is a disaster!
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You know what happened? Nothing. Nothing happened. I didn’t get put in the hall of shame. In fact, she said we had a beautiful home. We spent time laughing and talking and loving on this new little person. I still saw all the spots on the floor and the papers strewn about, but I tried to suffocate that annoying voice and replace it with the one who reminds me that it is more important to open our lives to one another, just as we are.
It is in our imperfections that we give one another permission to be human, to be beautifully broken together. I am learning to open myself in the midst of my mess, or I will never be able to share my life the way Jesus means for me to share it with others. I am learning to muddle through the mistakes of motherhood and marriage to grow together with my husband and children. One step at a time, however small, I am learning to let go of that voice that tells me that if it isn’t “perfect,” it isn’t worth doing. I am learning to let go of the critic’s eye and beginning to see with a heart of mercy and gratitude.
There is no shame in imperfection. We have a God who subjected Himself to every weakness and suffering so that He could come to us in the midst of ours. How is God calling us to be with one another in the middle of our mess?
Copyright 2016 Rakhi McCormick
About the Author
Rakhi is a Catholic wife and mother who works in parish communications part-time while trying to keep up with her husband, three young children, and a growing creative business. She is a convert from Hinduism and spent many years working in young adult and campus ministry. Rakhi’s blog and artwork can be found at The Pitter Patter Diaries, where her mission is to share the love of Christ with the world.