Striving and Stillness

One of my biggest struggles is with perfectionism. This manifests itself in so many ways: the ways that I treat my friends and family, the standards I hold myself to, and definitely the self-talk that I engage in.

So much of my self-talk is about improvement and being “better.” It’s about starting and finishing projects. It’s about doing things to please other people and to make myself feel better about myself. Even when this self-talk is positive, when it helps me in my career, my relationships, and my struggles within my own mind, there is a sense of striving, a sense of never being good enough.

Because if I wrote more blog posts I would feel better about myself. If I ate healthier and exercised more, I would look and feel better. If I drank less alcohol and got more sleep and read more books and watched less TV and did more crafts and took more showers and on and on and on.

The problem with all of this is that I really never will reach that perfection. I can strive forever, for all the things, and there will always be something else that’s out of reach, another goal that’s out of touch.

A little depressing, right? So why start anything, right? Why even get out of bed in the morning, especially when it’s so cold and dark all the time!

Well, first of all, you have to work to pay the heating bill. Once you’ve got that out of the way, there are also the little joys. The click of the keyboard under your fingers as you write that email in the morning. The smell of the coffee brewing while you’re pulling on your socks (I highly suggest investing in an auto-brew coffee maker). The rhythm of the needles as you knit row after row. That quiet 7 minutes you take in the middle of the day to meditate and allow your shoulders to fall away from your ears.

These are the reasons that everything is good enough as it is. The stillness is enough. I have to remind myself, over and over, to stop striving and just be still.

What do you strive for? Are there ways you find stillness in your day? Share them in the comments! I want to hear.

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