The women were strangers when they sat down at my table for a workshop. Slightly uncomfortable laughter and surface chitchat gave way to bursts of sharing deep introspection and pregnant pauses as everyone took in what was happening. Nothing forced. Nothing expected. Just women finding a place to feel safe to show themselves, and feeling strength in the connections that grew in that space. Tears accompanied the phrase, "That's it! That's who I am. Perfectly imperfect." The sighs from the rest of us were a hug. An agreement. An understanding that there is power in allowing ourselves to say that out loud and to feel that in the depths of our selves. Perfectly imperfect becomes the stamp and the seal that allows us to forgive ourselves. Not the excuse to try less than our best. Because we are trying so hard! Trying to raise our children and feeling like we are messing up horribly. Trying to be wonderful daughters and wives and friends, and falling short so often. Trying not to let ourselves down, and yet still letting. ourselves. down.
It lets us raise our heads up and know that the TRYING is what matters. That we can replace the striving for perfection and know that the striving alone is enough. It lets us grab on to that phrase, "I am enough," and instead of stamping it on a greeting card or t-shirt, etching it on our hearts.