This fall I have been spending most days on Chebeague Island, Maine, living in a trailer behind a house my son and daughter-in-law purchased almost 3 years ago. The best way to describe the house when purchased was a toxic waste site. You could literally smell the house from the driveway. Needless to say it needed a complete gut rehab. Now the house is being transformed into a home. I have been able to help. Currently most of my time has been hanging, taping and mudding drywall. I am a DIY guy and enjoy the variety of tasks. I’ve learned a lot. I’m also learning (relearning) some important lessons for life and healing. There comes a point when things will not be perfect and that is okay. The funny thing about mudding drywall is you have to discipline yourself to step away and stop trying to make each seam perfect. That is if the room is ever going to be used. And with a mid-November move date approaching this is a concern. Sometimes it is alright for things to be less than perfect. Good enough.
Sometimes it is alright for things to be less than perfect.
This is a good lesson for me about life and healing as a survivor. Perfectionism is a way to support the narrative that I am not good enough, flawed, a failure, damaged goods, the message of shame I carried for years. It can prevent me from ever fully accept myself as I am but instead support a flawed belief that if I only can get everything just right I will be okay. Of course that never happens.
I can also spend so much time seeking the perfect life, perfect job, perfect relationship that I never experience what I already have in all its wonderfulness. It leads me to seek that false childhood dream of the Hallmark moment where everything is finally, magically okay.
It opens my heart to them.
Real life is messy. It is flawed. It is imperfect. And in its imperfection there is room for healing, wonder, joy, acceptance and love. Accepting my imperfections helps me accept others with their imperfections. It opens my heart to them. It allows me to be less fearful and more vulnerable.
So the wall seams will be imperfect. But the house will be occupied and become a home filled with love. Each time I visit I will find the flaws I made, but that is okay. They are now a part of the character of the home, just as my flaws are a part of the wholeness that is me. I will continue to try to do my best knowing that it is not perfect and that is okay. I will learn to be not perfect.
Be well. Stay safe. Take good care.
Be sure to check out “BONDED – Benefit Reading of New Play Starring Celebrity Bellamy Young!” Find out more information about this October 15th event and to register here.