I was recently reading through some of my past blog posts, and I came across one that I wrote right after the holidays a couple of years ago. It was about a practice I took on that holiday season of things being “good enough.” Here’s an excerpt from the post:
This holiday season, the words I kept repeating to myself were “good enough.” Good enough – as in, who needs perfect?
My kids don’t have perfect, matching Christmas stockings with their names on them? Well, the ones we have are good enough. I think my son would really like the Millennium Falcon Lego Set after seeing the new Star Wars movie, instead of the one I got him earlier in the month? Well, the one I got will be good enough. The house is a mess with kids home from school for 2 weeks and an extra person in our house for the holidays? Well, it is warm and cozy and cluttered and loved, and good enough.
In the past, I would have tried to make these things perfect. But this year, I chose to rest in things being good enough.
In fact, why don’t I take the word good out of the equation, and simply practice being enough?
It was a great reminder to read these words again, especially as we have rounded the corner of Thanksgiving and are beginning to pick up steam toward the holiday season. I recognize my perfectionist tendencies and am beginning to realize that the holidays are a terrible time for us perfectionists.
During this time, we can get so caught in having things look a certain way. From perfect decorations to perfect gifts to spending money that we don’t have to dealing with the rush and crowds of shopping just to have things match the image in our mind, some nostalgic past experience of the holiday season that might not even be based in reality.
I had a student who just completed my Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class, and she shared about wanting to bake a cake for our last class. She told the group that before the MBSR program, she would have practically killed herself to get that cake made, even though she had a busy day with lots of commitments. The breakthrough for her was choosing to NOT bake the cake, and then letting it go. As she shared this, her face was open and soft in a brand-new way. She shared that her meditation that night, in that space of letting go, was the most relaxed, spacious, and open meditation she had ever experienced.
I hope that this can act as a reminder to you to let go of perfect and rest in things being enough as they are.
What if this day was enough? What if YOU – your body, your mind, your heart, your life, was enough? What if there was nothing to improve upon? Instead, what if we rested in embracing an appreciation of THIS, all of it, just as it is? The messy, the imperfect, the cluttered house, the grumpy day, the busy mind, the ups and downs? What if being true to yourself in this moment didn’t rely on having life worked out or things looking a certain way?
I give you permission to not have this holiday season be perfect.
I give you permission to not bake the cake.