It’s only since I’ve aged and apparently matured, that I’ve realised that being myself is far easier than being who I thought I should be…and in my early world it was trying to do, be & have – perfectionism.
My Father was a migrant that spoke little English so his first few years in Australia, of living, working and making friends was very challenging and hard. He taught himself to survive and in that came a certain level of perfectionism, because he was adamant that becoming an ‘Aussie’ was so important. He loved his new adopted country.
In his time, fitting in was not just a survival mechanism, but it meant he made it. Adapting is one thing, but feeling a part of the community where you live is paramount to your self-esteem. That’s why people move, they feel the energy of seeking the place they want to call home and feel comfortable.
All to many times growing up, my Father would tell us that we hadn’t completed our chores properly. We’d been tardy or lazy and he’d get us to do them again, until the bathroom shone like a showroom or the kitchen floor tiles looked like new again.
He wanted to teach us pride in our effort, to finish feeling good about ourselves and our level of commitment to the task at hand. This carried on to school years and any school report that carried ‘C’ grades was not considered acceptable because he believed we were all A graders inside our hearts and minds.
He would say to me ‘you could do better Margot’. (He called me Margit, which I adored).
So as I matured, I carried this perfectionism ritual in my mind and it gave me grief on so many occasions. I attracted a husband that also gave his all to his career, sporting recreation and family. You can imagine our humble little house looked perfect and everything was in perfect place and I strove to cook perfectly and smile perfectly and give, and give and give…until the day I gave birth to my first child.
Not only was the delivery anything but perfect, but my beautiful son came out fighting for his life. After 24 hours of difficult labour he came by emergency cesarean under full anesthesia, and was fed formula while I was waking up, that made him sick because no one realised he was dairy intolerant and his little body went into anaphylactic shock.
My whole world turned upside down and post-natal depression set in slowly but surely, and I saw my perfect little world tip upside down.
My identity crumbled and I was forced to find my way, each day, through the ups and downs of emotional desperation and the mire of enormous responsibility of settling a colic, lactose intolerant, sleep deprived miserable baby. At the time I remember thinking, ‘whoever said having a baby was a wonderful experience needs to see me now’.
Still to this day, I remember thinking back to those early years as a new Mum, feeling just miserable all the time. After a few months I soon became better at juggling everything so that my life appeared to be in order, proper and right again, and hoped every day, that as I looked upon my life, I’d finally one day fall into bed at night and drift off to sleep, feeling perfect about it all. But I never did.
How many times have you set out to accomplish a task, event, situation, circumstance or idea, only to discover as you’re right in the middle of the doing the ‘thing’, that you’ve created a rod for your own back.
That instead of enjoying your job, work, house, groups of friends or more importantly, yourself, you are treading water, a fine line of trying to create perfectionism?
Well, it’s time to throw back your hair, quickly put on some lippy (without foundation or blush), grab your favourite jeans and handbag and smile a big smile, as you run out the door looking your true authentic self.
Plonk yourself down on the seat next to your best friend at the local cafe, order a latte and laugh and giggle until you nearly wet yourself and walk away thinking, ‘that was fun!’… instead of ‘I’m glad I wore that dress and those shoes as I looked skinny today’.
The year has dawned where you open your heart to the world, and fling back the shutters of vulnerability, and let people see you, strengths, warts and all. You know it’s not as bad you think it is, because your mind will always want to remind you of what you’re not doing and what negatives are in your life. That’s a given.
But it’s time to restore peace, feel at ease, and naturally allow yourself to be you.
Love everything about yourself, because over time you will giggle at the way you snort when you laugh too hard, no longer stress that your hair looks crappy on day 2, and you’ll realise that you are the best version of you in your raw, natural state of being.
Just like the food industry is re-inventing itself into more natural, raw and energising nourishment….You need to allow yourself to be really you, the true gritty earthy you. And you’ll find more peace, that it’s easier to fall asleep at night, and not because you don’t care, but because you do actually care, for all the right reasons, which are –
You were born to live joyfully, full of life, just the way you are.
Light & love, Margit x