As we grow up we realise that certain things that we thought were true, were myths.
Up to the time we stop believing in Santa Claus we hold the myth that everything in the North Pole is perfect. We embellish the myth with extra information, make excuses for Santa or the elves when they don’t deliver our ideal gifts and generally we adapt the story to meet our current reality to keep it true and perfect. We have even given Santa ways to deliver gifts to children living in apartments and houses without chimneys!
Then we are devastated when the myth is “busted” or shattered and we learn that we have been “fooled” into believing in a myth all along.
Other myths fill our youth including the tales of Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty.We may see ourselves in the appropriate roles and do our best to play our parts so that we get the happy ending like they experienced in the story-book ending.
We are delighted when the Tooth Fairy leaves us a gift in exchange for our teeth. The reward is swift and makes up for the pain and displeasure of losing a tooth .
We believe in heros and heroines and idolise certain role models, players and musicians. We dream of being like them, of being recognised as being like them, so we sing their songs, wear their “gear” , buy their merchandise and adopt an identity like a outer shell that we wear to allow us to “fit in” and feel that we are part of a supporters group and have something in common with other supporters.
We develop a sense of loyalty to our school, our flag, our country, our neighbourhood and even want to hang out in gangs who are dedicated to preserving a myth, a code or an omertà!
As we get more life experience we gradually come to see the flaws and imperfections in everything and everyone. We realise that absolute perfection is a myth created by story weavers to inspire and raise the expectations of youth so that they aspire to be better than their parents, teachers and ancestors.
I was seven and dutifully helping a neighbour that I had idolised for years to move a table. When he caught his finger between the table and a door jam, the string of expletives that he muttered did not shock me as I had heard words like these before, but I never thought I would hear him use language like this and he tumbled off the pedestal that I had put him on. From that day forwards I could only see him as mortal. This was a myth I had created in my own mind and in an instant it had shattered and with it a hero I would have followed to the ends of the earth crashed to earth shattering my illusion and wiping out a large portion of my trust at the time.
Another myth was that my 3 and 4 year old fiends and I were perfect and invincible! However when we hid behind a wall and threw small stones at someone and were caught doing it and punished by our parents we discovered that we were not! How you cope with a myth being shattered can determine how you approach life in the aftermath, and can affect your trust in yourself and in others, shaping your personality and your perspectives on living.
The third myth of many that crumbled, was when my parents and I moved house to a different town and the security that I had felt with my group of friends and neighbours, as well as the mental map of where I lived and felt safe along with my local knowledge, all can to an abrupt end. Everything and everyone I ever knew and felt secure with outside of my immediate family was ripped away like a bandaid, and afterwards I found it difficult to build regular friendships and be part of a group as there was always a feeling that these too will disappear.
I became very content being on my own as it took me time to adapt to my new locality, also they spoke a different language in school and everyone had a differ accent to the one I was used to. Also, when we moved, we became outsiders and up to that point I was always included and felt like an integral part of the community because we had all grown up together.
When a myth, a constant or a dream crumbles it leaves us with the freedom to react or respond . If we react we retreat into fear and pain and constantly seek new places to find perfection until one day we expect ourselves to be perfect so that we hope that we can have a “happy ending”.
However, when we start judging ourselves by a “perfect standard” and sacrifice our humanity and the pleasure of living until we are “perfect” in our own eyes, so that we can accept ourselves and be
liked and accepted by others we can completely miss the point of living.
In My Experience
After more than 50 years of reflection on the topic of perfection and why we keep looking for it,I have drawn a number of conclusions some which I am happy to share here.
Depending on where you are on your journey to self-acceptance and self-love these conclusions may seem true or contrived .
I am never going to be absolutely perfect as long as I’m alive because absolute perfection is an myth. However, I’m Perfectly fine as I am today and either people like and accept my as I am or I don’t care what they think, do or say!
I will never be able to achieve all of my unrealistic dreams, goals and ambitions but I am happy to be who I am and where I am the road of life. I own what I have achieved, with the help of those who have supported me, what I have done myself and am very happy to have the continued support and love of my wonderful wife, the companionship and support of friends and colleagues.
Because I am myself and happy to be me, I see the world differently. I focus on solutions not symptoms of problems and think around corners to see the brighter side of situations. I live with the glass 95% full, not just 50% full. Why settle for less when you can create your future by controlling your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and actions. I aim for best outcomes and am rarely disappointed and even when things don’t turn out as I had hoped, when I count up all the wins along the way, it helps me to see the outcomes that I have, in a brighter and more positive way.
Life is not fixed and you are not set on a track like a runaway train. Rather you are the captain of a ship , not a passenger and it is up to you to decide what flag you will fly, where you want to go and how you will get there. There may be a “perfect” path or direct route map but you are bot obliged to stick to it and in fact life can be far more rewarding and enjoyable when you “March to the beat of your own drum” and start making time out for yourself each day to live your lifetime and BE the unique person that you have become.
In the world of mass media and advertising we have been made very conscious of our appearance and have been led to believe the myth that we must look our best at all times and that everyone expects us to look beautiful if you are to be attractive and acceptable. This need to look and feel perfect and to conform to the advertised myth which was designed to sell makeup and fragrances, clothing and shoes to people who are unsure of themselves creates so much pressure especially on girls, on teens and on women of all ages. Their natural confidence in their appearance is eroded daily by advertising for anti-ageing creams, masking makeup to hide one’s blemishes and shading for hair eyebrows and lips that will make one more beautiful.
There is a psychological condition called dysmorphia and it being exploited by advertisers. In dysmorphia a person does not see themselves as others see them but they believe that features of their body or face are too fat, too thin, too small, too large or in some way imperfect and this makes the person very unhappy with their body /face
Adults teens and children have fallen for the advertising Myths. However, occasionally I have met people who have managed to avoid succumbing to their pressure, and it is such a relief to see their true beauty shining through. A mask will only ever be a mask, but a smile or other genuine expression can reveal he true beauty inside and this is all I want to see! In my opinion the mask people wear to
make themselves appear beautiful or acceptable, just obscures the view and muddies the waters. Everyone’s face and features are unique to them and hiding yours behind a beauty mask because you think that your face or your forehead or your nose is too big, too small or crooked, is like saying to a flower that “you are not beautiful enough, let’s embellish you”.
Offer of Help
So, If you are living up to some ideals of perfection, or find that you are judging yourself, of feel that you are being judged by other people, then is it time to make a change. Isn’t it time to rewire the way that you think, feel, behave and speak so that you can be yourself, your happy self, and so that you can live your fullest life in peace, joy, love and hope!
I may not be perfect as a person, but I may just be the person you need to help you to be your real and happy self even in your current circumstances. Let me help you change your mind so that you can be truly at peace.
Book a free call with me at https://King.ie/free-call