Growing up in middle America in the 1950s and 60s (as I did), the standard for perfection was: husband, wife, children, house with a picket fence, good job, money in the bank. We were taught to aspire to that, to see it not only as perfect, but “normal.” In addition, the silent subtext was: white, heterosexual, Christian. Anything outside those tight parameters was viewed as suspect, not a perfect American-dream life.
What if you don’t fall into any of those descriptions? What if you don’t want any of those things? What if that version of “normal” feels untrue or excluding? In the late 1960s and 70s, individuals began to break through those stereotypes and claim different versions of perfect. Normal became an outdated concept, and diversity took its place. Diversity in race, religion (or none), nationality, gender, sexual preference, physical ability, age, job descriptions. Male/female stereotypes and roles began to change. Same-sex, gender-fluid, and mixed-race couples were able to live more open lives as political movements affected attitudes and expectations. Many people chose not to marry or have children at all.
New options appeared, but a number of deeply ingrained viewpoints remained. There is much yet to be transformed within our social structures. Nevertheless, change is still occurring; hearts are opening to kindness and inclusion. We are gradually bridging into a more expansive, loving future. In the meantime, how do we view our lives? What is “perfect” in the context of the world we currently live in? Maybe that is an idea, a goal, that needs to be redefined—or disappear entirely. Perhaps perfection as we have always viewed it is an illusion that only keeps us dissatisfied and looking outward for happiness and peace of mind.
Perhaps “perfect as is” is a more useful perspective— being human exactly as we are. Instead of looking at ourselves and life events and asking “What’s wrong with me?” or “Why is this happening to me?” we can view every situation as part of our soul plan, all with a purposeful design, which may not reveal itself immediately. Trust is necessary. Our minds think we know what’s best, based on what we’ve been told all our lives, but our hearts often know better. And our souls know that we were born to live the exact life we are living. Ever expanding, ever evolving.
When I look at my life that way, judgment and comparison fall away. I am not aspiring to change how everything is unfolding in order to meet some preconceived idea. Over the years, I have learned to surrender to the flow of each day’s events and to any feelings that arise. Whatever is before me and within me is what I’m meant to experience. The spiritual journey I have been on for many years has shown me that my soul is the source of my life’s direction and when I am guided by its wisdom, I am centered in inner peace and calm. If we listen, each of our souls directs us wisely. Your life is perfect as is.