I will never forget the day I asked all my junior high students the question, “Who wrote the definition for perfect?” They looked at me with furrowed brow or comical smiles, for they were used to my zany questions. Of course no one had an answer to this strange inquiry. According to Wikipedia, the word perfection goes back to Aristotle –
The oldest definition of “perfection”, fairly precise and distinguishing the shades of the concept, goes back to Aristotle. In Book Delta of the Metaphysics, he distinguishes three meanings of the term, or rather three shades of one meaning, but in any case three different concepts.
That is perfect:
1. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts
2. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better
3. which has attained its purpose.
Following this introductory question I continued with “When did you decide to play along with this definition, using it to judge yourself and others?” Oh boy.., this sparked conversation and exploration. We dug into the power of the media, society, culture and how we allow ourselves to be sucked into the world of “perfection” as advertised.
Following this intensely beautiful conversation I shared a couple of videos which jolted us even more…
As a teacher who is also a mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, etc.., I shared my own raw authentic ownership for the times I played along, got sucked in and passed on my own “image issues.” As a class we delved into the feelings stirred by the videos, my admittance and their own vulnerable sharing. Finding ourselves empowered with the newfound knowledge that everyone struggles at times with this societally and culturally driven game. This is not a gender or age specific issue. It infiltrates from all directions towards all populations.
As I shared yesterday I just returned from a trip that took me to Turkey for a couple of weeks. It was wonderful to enjoy the beauty of another culture, observing as best I could the nuances with image. Of course to really understand, one would have to stay and really submerge within the local society to get a feel for how they judge, label and categorize.
I reflect upon my growing up years before cell phones, selfies and social media, whew, I had it easy! However, I felt the labels, the judgments and the harmful internal self criticism that flowed when I accepted what was portrayed as “perfect.” I hurt for those that received the harmful teasing by peers who were cruel with their words and actions. Everyone seemed to accept the latest “in” look or “perfection” label. While I struggled at times with this marketing/media driven bombardment, I would eventually swing the pendulum back to honor my Wild Woman.
I chuckle at how easily we stray into the next “in phase”, tweezing or bolstering the eyebrows, high waisted or low waisted pants, high heels or no heels, curly or straight hair, makeup??? Oh my!! What would happen to all the clothing, makeup and lifestyle companies if we stopped playing along? That question is definitely for another blog entry!
As I reach out into the world for other Wild Women, I feel again the powerful energy of those hundred students (male and female) who opened their souls to a room full of peers. An experience that gave us all the opportunity to feel and see through diverse lenses. For some they became aware and empowered for the first time with the clarity that everyone journeys in their own personal way through the haze of society’s dictated “perfection.”
Ever since I stuck up for a classmate in fifth grade (many moons ago) it has been a dream of mine for all people to feel from within how absolutely spectacular they are. Releasing the chains of self-criticism based on a contrived definition of “Perfect,” “Enough,” and “Worthy.” Of course as a woman I have a soft spot and knowing for the female journey, however, my male clients shared the sad truth that we all can fall prey to such torment.
As a woman who has worn all the hats, I know how we put ourselves last!
- I will take that class when the kids are not so busy.
- I don’t have the money to do that now, the kids need this, the house, the family…
- Someday I will read that book, join that club, get regular massages, etc…
- It would be selfish to spend such time on myself.
- I really want to connect with other amazing women, but my family needs me, my job, the to-do list.
One of the most powerful things I have learned along the way is that when we do not take care of ourselves and fill up our own cups, there is nothing left to give or share with others. Upon becoming a mother I lost this balance for awhile, until one day I realized that my children learned a lot through watching the people around them – “What was I role modeling to my son and daughter?” Is that how I wanted them to care for themselves, see themselves, value themselves??? This was and is a huge driving force for me. “Do as I say, not as I do,” is not how I wish to role model or engage with this amazing life.
To awaken our Wild Woman – Wild Man is to come home to our inner stirrings, our truth, our vibrant, passionate desires with how we wish to experience and BE in the world around us. This is a very individualistic personal journey. I can’t imagine living this miraculous life any other way!! Here is to YOU in all your magnanomous Wild BEingness!
If you are interested in living a life of BEing – Coming home to a Life of Choice, check out