Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mrs. Perfect

OK, that's not me. That's the name of the book by Jane Porter that I just finished reading. For a work of fiction, it had a significant personal effect on me. The main character, after facing many struggles in her quest to be the perfect mother and wife, came to some very important realizations about herself, and why she had acted the way that she did.

I could draw many similarities between the main character and myself. Taylor is a stay-at-home mom who is eager to volunteer at her children's school. Staying fit is important to her. And she has a history of eating disordered behavior. Near the end of the book, an adversary becomes an unlikely friend. This friend points out the nasty and mean voices that Taylor ALLOWS to play over and over in her head. She even admits to having those voices, too, but she got sick of them making her feel bad. She urges Taylor to celebrate what she does right, instead of beating herself up for what she does wrong. Taylor goes on to think about the continuing dialogue that goes on in her head, telling her that she can't do anything right, she is incompetent, she is lazy, she is selfish, she is bad.

I have had those voices in my head for such a long time, at least since high school. There have been periods in my life when the voices have been louder, and some where they were more forgiving and less harsh. Still, I wonder if I will ever be able to completely silence them. I can't be perfect; no one can be perfect. Each person, I guess, needs to find a way to accept their flaws and embrace their reality. No one should have to say they are sorry for not being perfect, and everyone has a right to be happy with who they are, and like who they are. No apologies, no excuses. And, I bet that if we can silence those mean voices, we won't have that empty feeling inside that seems to never be filled. I have a hard time imagining a life where I don't verbally beat myself up, but I'd sure like to find it!

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