The other day, when I was writing about the Yama Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), I referenced “Let It Go” from Frozen. As I read through the lyrics, I was particularly impressed for two reasons:
- This is the same company that gave us such mind benders as “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (both Oscar winning songs like “Let It Go”)? This song certainly has a lot more character development and depth than some other notable Disney songs.
- What an empowering anthem! For me, the song conveys that it’s more important to be yourself than to be who you think other people want you to be.
In particular, I’m referring to the line in the last verse of the song, “That perfect girl is gone.” This is so important because the song has just established that Elsa has spent years hiding her true ice queen self. Finally, the moment has come when she decided to embrace who she truly is. She let go of “that perfect girl” image in favor of being true to herself.
What is perfect?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, perfect is “a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless <a perfect diamond>, b : satisfying all requirements : accurate, c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept <a perfect gentleman>, d : faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect, e : legally valid.”
I think we’ve all been told that nobody’s perfect, yet we try. We strive to be “without fault or defect,” sometimes even chastising ourselves when we are not. Despite my best efforts, the number of “perfect” things I’ve done can probably be counted on one hand.
If that is so, almost all encounters and events in my life are imperfect. When we hold ourselves to the standard that the things we do must be perfect, we are setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. The key is to appreciate and enjoy what unfolds before us and recognize that it, in its own way, is perfect.
How do I let go of perfect?
- Stop judging yourself and others. You know who’s allowed to judge other people? God, judges, and teachers; everyone else should knock it off. That includes any judgement you make of yourself.
- Everything happens for a reason. What will you learn from this? Was there anything you could do differently? Is there any lesson you should learn?
- Appreciate how the universe works. Sometimes things outside of our control happen. At the time, it can feel bad or unfortunate. However, the universe has plans that you are not privy to and sometimes bad things need to happen to help move you toward good things.
- Be in the moment. Appreciate what you have and find joy in the moments you spend as you spend them. Recently, my son told his grandpa that we had not eaten all the chocolate chip cookies that he made us for Christmas. I had encouraged my son to not share this information with his grandparents because I didn’t want my dad’s feelings to get hurt. Instead, my son ambushed my dad after he came out of the bathroom one time and said, “Gramp, you’re not gonna wanna hear this, but…we…did not…eat all of your cookies. We gave some to the chickens.” My dad’s jaw almost dropped off his face as he tried to look serious and not burst out laughing. I, however, could not resist. I laughed so hard I was crying. It was completely inappropriate, but I bet it will be one of my favorite memories of my son with my dad for quite a while. Perfect.
Here is a very great and helpful video from Alexa Fischer. If you are struggling with perfectionism and letting go of “perfect,” you should check this out.
When have you let go of “perfect”? What happened? Let me know in the comments below.
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