Accepting imperfection can be liberating

Jennifer Bonn

I know so many people who are striving for perfection. They are desperate for people to see them as living the ideal life when the fact is that living a life behind a mask is exhausting to do.

I don’t think I ever portrayed a glimmer of perfection, but I spent too much of my time worrying about what others thought of me. I realized that what really mattered was if my loved ones and myself were doing our bests to be good people and if we were happy. I finally realized that I wasn’t going to worry about judgment anymore as my daughter Kait and I were on our way to a school awards ceremony. My husband was away on business and Kait was going to receive an award, so I asked her brother and sister to come to show family support. As Kait and I were driving there, she said, “I wonder what they will wear.” She was talking about her brother, sister, and her brother’s girlfriend. None of them dressed conservatively and Kait was worried about the impression they would make on her teachers and classmates. I decided that this could be a teachable moment, so I said, “You know what Kait? I don’t care what anyone else thinks of our family. I know we are far from perfect, but I love my children and I am going to thank them all for coming no matter what they are wearing. I have to take the theme of imperfection one step further and tell you that I was asking myself the same question that Kait was before I decided to let go of the need for approval.

It is liberating when you can admit your weaknesses, and it is fun to see how many people you can help when you share some of your struggles. When I told the story of that night, several women opened up about issues that they had in their families and how they were afraid of being judged because of them.

I would rather have friends who accept me for who I am, than someone who wants me to pretend to be someone else. Being authentic often makes others feel more comfortable to be around you.

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Jen Bonn

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA
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