Wow, energetically this summer has been a powerhouse of change. So many people I know are moving, downsizing, and changing something in their lives, in some dramatic manner, often to follow a better way, a more comfortable path even if they have never been on it before. I believe when change is calling in one’s life it is also a graduation, a testimony that we are ready for something better. A new philosophy takes hold that sees and takes a higher perspective on things, a new location lifts our spirits; many are following one’s dreams and giving up a more conservative, traditional lifestyle.
Now is the time to reach for your dreams, to say “I can do it!” Time to acknowledge that you are doing your best and learning every day. Time to take the pressure off from unrealistic expectations, like perfection in ourselves or others. Let’s use this time of abundance to love ourselves and to accept that we do not have to be perfect – doing our best in life and love is good enough.
Doing our best does not include the pursuit of perfectionism, in fact being impeccable in our thoughts and deeds is all we need to strive for to create peace and harmony as we learn and grow each day. Perfectionism and impeccability are not the same.
Perfectionism: the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. The guiding philosophy represents “a doctrine holding that religious, moral, social, or political perfection is attainable, especially the theory that human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained.”
There is a difference between perfection and impeccability, they might sound like they are the same but they are not. Perfectionism is often used as the measurement of self-worth and is a belief which can create dis-ease of the mind and spirit with its unrealistic expectations. I have found recently in my conversations with friends and clients that they end up frustrated or even punishing themselves for not being perfect at something or even expecting someone else to be perfect.
When we label ourselves as perfectionists, it can create stress and pressure to push ourselves or others hard, often fueled by the feeling that we or others are not good enough. Human beings are incredibly adaptable and when we set the expectation for ourselves to be perfect, we will many times expect the same unrealistic performance from others. This can result in us being harsh and critical and doesn’t really make us popular with those who are loving and patient.
I believe that we are not here on earth to be perfect, we live in an imperfect world and that is OK. God knows who you are and you are much loved. I believe that we all have free will and that free will allows us to learn about ourselves and our talents and gifts and to develop the ability to share them with others. Love and compassion accepts imperfection.
So then what is appropriate for us to strive for, if not perfection? Impeccability.
Impeccability is striving to do your best at all times. It allows for mistakes that are natural for each of us as we are all expanding our knowledge of who we are and what are gifts are. I believe we are always in this perpetual state of expansion. When we are conscious and accept that doing our best is enough, we become more compassionate, patient and understanding of ourselves and others as they learn and grow at different rates.
My definition for impeccability is doing the best you can at all times, being in integrity, knowing who you are, what you stand for and walking your truth. Striving for impeccability allows for our mistakes to be teachers, and allows us to develop compassion as we learn about ourselves, others and how we make our way in the world.
See how impeccability is a theme for Don Miguel Ruiz’s code for life teachings in The Four Agreements.
Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Strive for impeccability, free yourself from the pursuit of perfection and live longer and happier. I affectionately remind you that we are all walking around in diapers, learning about ourselves and life in the physical world, just like children. You are perfect in the eyes of your Divine Source; you do not have to prove anything to anyone, just be the best you can be, now and always.
Peace and blessings to you.