When is “Good Enough” good enough?
As we move into the height of this holiday season, I want to suggest folks consider the concept of “good enough” as a way to keep a sense of peace. There seems to be an expectation, from both society and from within ourselves, that more is better and perfection is the goal. More decorations, more food, more parties, more gifts. The perfectly decorated tree, the perfect meal, the perfect outfit for the perfect party, the perfect gift.
We’ve all heard the saying “nobody’s perfect” but how often do we still strive for perfection, setting ourselves up for disappointment? The reality is that our best, although not perfect, is good enough because sometimes it’s all we have.
The problem with perfection and wanting more isn’t that it drives us to do the best that we can. The problem is the expectation that we can do better than what we are currently doing, given our life circumstance and values. Internal conflict and stress is then created, which zaps energy. And as a result of less energy, we achieve even less on the “good enough” continuum.
Over the past eight months, I have experienced the most difficult period of my life. I am grieving the death of my Dad. I have been giving care to my Mom, who has Alzheimer’s, and I feel the ongoing loss of her everyday. I said goodbye to a very dear aunt, who choose to suspend life support.
In response, I have put my work aside. I have given up my regular schedule of home maintenance and have done chores on an as-needed basis. I have done very little to initiate contact with friends and family, typically only responding to folks that reach out to me. And I have had to say to myself many times, “it’s good enough”. I know my life isn’t everything I intend it to be right now and I can only imagine the additional stress I would feel if I maintained an expectation of perfection and demanded more of myself.
And here’s the surprise and the lesson from my experience. Good enough really is good enough. My house is still standing even though I haven’t given it the same attention as I used to. My business is still in tack, even though I haven’t spent the same amount of time on it as I did a year ago. I still feel the love and support from my friends and family even though I haven’t been my typical self. Not only have I been good enough for myself, but I’ve been good enough for the people that care for me.
Peace on Earth is an important theme of this holiday season. The way I see it, the path to peace around the world, between nations and between people, is first for each individual to find peace within oneself. If we accept our imperfections, we can’t help but accept the imperfections of others. If we focus less on striving for more for ourselves, we have more of ourselves to share with others.
Is this blog everything I wanted it to be?…..I don’t know but it’s good enough!
Peace, love, and gratitude during this Holiday Season.
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