Recently, it was my birthday. My partner is struggling with depression, and the recent news that this is his condition and he may be on antidepressants for life. He always used to worry that a label like this would stop me loving him. As though putting a label on him meant that he was somehow different and that our little one and me would suddenly change our minds.
Your effort was amazing
So all this is going on, and it reaches my birthday. You’ve done some housework so I could have a rest, you deal with our little one as much as you can, and you’ve organised such lovely, heartfelt presents. It gets to evening and you hit your exhaustion point.
“I’m sorry,” you say. “I wanted everything to be perfect but I’m rubbish and now you are having to do stuff… I’m sorry I’m not perfect.” Then I remembered, I remembered the overwhelming sensation of the need for perfection, and the energy it takes just to roll over in bed. I realised that you are exhausted. Not just from everything you had done but from that relentless need to reach perfection.
Here’s the thing, you are not meant to be perfect. No one is. Some of us aim for it more than others, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most perfectionists are also 1 in 4.
You are not meant to be perfect. You are meant to be you
The effort was amazing. The pure fact you tried meant so much. I am not scoring your ability to live out of ten. 10 is not for perfect, 10 is for the brilliant things you’ve done and how loved you make me feel. Even if you’d managed to just kiss me and say happy birthday it would be 10. Perfect is unobtainable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could stop berating ourselves and realise what we’ve achieved?
You are not meant to be perfect. You are meant to be you.