We’ve all heard that nobody is perfect. Yet, so many people believe that they are the exception. We may not say this out loud, we may not even consciously think it. We still act as if we expect ourselves to be perfect. If you really think about it what is “perfect”? Who is “perfect”?
Not even celebrities are perfect, we see it all the time. Celebrities in amazing shape being photoshopped to look even smaller than they do. Mothers are constantly criticized for being imperfect. We push ourselves to be perfect, but what do we really get out of it? We get sick, burnt out, and our work and social lives suffer… and we still don’t consider ourselves perfect.
Forgiveness is typically thought of as something you give to someone else when they mess up. What if we thought of forgiveness as a way to let go of the negative influences of the outside world on our own lives? What if we allowed ourselves to let go of those negative outside influences and just be happy?
We all make mistakes. I know you’ve heard it before, you’ve probably said it to your friends, family, and even co-workers. When it comes to ourselves do we accept that what we’ve done is a mistake, and that despite saying something out of anger in an argument with a friend, cheating on your diet, or missing the last shot during the state finals, that you are still a good person. Nope. We let it affect our lives for days, weeks, and sometimes years later. How can you learn to forgive yourself for mistakes?
Forgiving yourself requires courage. The task of forgiving yourself is not easy. As Dr. Brené Brown says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” If you own your imperfections and embrace them, then you can start to forgive yourself for them. This takes time and effort, and most people are too afraid to attempt it, but forgiving yourself for being imperfect is the first step to embracing and accepting your authentic self. Once you do this you can start to embrace the idea that you are, and always have been, imperfectly perfect.
By Rachael Steinmetz, RP
I am a first-year master’s student at the University of Denver studying Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am a practicum student at Denver Adolescent Therapy Group. I love working with adolescents and young adults because they have their own thoughts and opinions, yet are often so open to learning and changing. I work the most with people who struggle with depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.