Perfection. Why strive for it when it doesn’t exist?

In weighing myself this morning, I tried not to criticize myself. But, I still thought how much I long to weigh 35 pounds less than I do now. This constant wish/hope is one that I sometimes support and many times defy as I scarf down a chocolate chip cookie. What is this game I’m playing with myself? I continue to think that if I could lose the amount of weight I have arbitrarily chosen as ideal or “perfect,” my life would be golden.

In the cold light of day, that seems ridiculous, yet it has been the constant chatter in my head for as long as I can remember. What is so special about losing 35 pounds? Who decided that would be perfect?

There is no such thing as perfect, if you think about it. Arbitrary standards are just that. Arbitrary.

And every time we strive for some standard we think is “perfect,” it gives us the “perfect” opportunity to beat ourselves up. I can’t think of anything positive coming from keeping that thought process going.

Wherever did we learn that perfection was even possible, let alone achievable? I guess we all came to believe that if we just weighed less, tried harder, slept more, exercised more (the list goes on), we would achieve what?

Happiness?

I’m going to trade in happiness for contentment because I might find some contentment in stopping the self-criticism and reminding myself of what good characteristics I do have. Now.

I’m going to work at remembering what I intended at the New Year and write down three positive things about myself every morning. No matter how seemingly insignificant the items are, I’m going to write them down, at the beginning of the day.

It has worked in the past, and it will work again if I just remember to do the exercise and NOT criticize myself when I forget.

So if I’m striving for contentment, maybe I need to define it for myself. I think of contentment as balance, objectivity, and clear, grounded thinking without a hint of self hate.

What about you?