It is so easy (especially for women because we are super emotional) to believe that in order to be loved, we have to be perfect. I am certainly guilty of this. I believed this lie for years upon years. Have you ever set out on a quest to find perfection? If so, you’re most likely still on that journey…because you will never find it. Its an endless quest, which I figured out the hard way.
In high school I wanted to be perfect. Everything from my eyebrows, to my personality, to my weight was under scrutiny. I always strived to be the smartest, the most organized, the most well-liked, the one with the best smile, and the most athletic. I honestly thought that if I could just get it all right and all at the same time, that I would be worthy of love. That if all my ducks were in a row that somebody would actually love me.
For years I tried to be perfect, but sadly I always came up short. So I pushed harder and harder, downloaded yet another productivity app, hit the gym, and believed that all I needed to do was push myself just a little more. Honestly, it was so exhausting to live that way. I remember one day in college just completely falling apart. It was too much pressure to carry and was just so overwhelming. I just couldn’t do it anymore.
You want to know what happens when the pressure gets too much to handle? Well, in my case, I was an extreme basketcase (and I am not exaggerating). I sat on my college bunk bed crying to one of my quadmates. And when I say I was crying- it was not the cute kind of crying. It was the ugly cry, gasping for air type of cry. I had to come face to face with my imperfection and it was terrifying. While I sat there in a puddle of tears, I realized that perfection was (and is) not a requirement for love. It’s not a requirement from God, and it isn’t a requirement from other people. Somewhere in my life I must have told myself that in order to be loved I needed to be perfect, and I carried that with me for years (allowing it to dictate my choices, my relationships, and the way that I viewed myself).
The truth is, we don’t want perfection from one another and we certainly don’t need it. Nobody is perfect (even those people who truly, 100% think that that are). I had to learn to accept my flaws and my quirkiness- the parts of me that made me who I was. Its those off-kilter things that make us special and lovable. God knows us intimately. He knows our flaws, the number of hairs on our head, the mistakes we will make along the way, and the endless number of times that we will strive to be perfect. So let go of that need to be in control and be ‘perfect’, because it will drain you. Don’t put all that pressure and stress on yourself (its not fair).
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we should continue to grow, and change. But perfection has never been part of the equation, and has never been a prerequisite for love. We are not perfect, AND we are so loved (its a crazy, life-giving truth). I encourage you to take a hold of it and truly believe it. Since we are human beings, we tend to measure love by human standards. Unfortunately, when we do that it can be really hard to imagine what it means to be loved unconditionally by our Father. His love is a love with no earthly match, but an example of the way we should aspire to be.