“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
As disciples of Christ it is important for us to strive to be the best people we can be—but sometimes I think we go above and beyond, and in the process we actually lose Christ. We focus too much on the world’s definition of perfect, and not only does that hurt ourselves, but it hurts the people who surround us.
What does perfection look like? Is it having perfectly tanned skin? Long voluminous eye-lashes? The “VASA bro” body? The flawless Instagram aesthetic? The biggest, most expensive house on the block? The fastest car? The cookie-cutter, always happy family? The testimony with zero uncertainties or doubts?
We are living in an illusion of perfection that we created ourselves.
Yet, even if you do have the perfect body or the life that seems to be perfect, there is always more perfection out there to strive for. We compare. We envy. If we are doing our best, our best isn’t good enough for us, because we see others who have it even better—little do we know, others look at us and feel the same way. Our desire for our own perfection can actually be discouraging and damaging to the people around us.
So how do we stop?
Too often we slide our problems under the rug in an effort to create a perfect image of ourselves. We want people to believe we have it all together. We are afraid to be real and honest because we don’t want to “bother” anyone with our problems. We think we don’t need to trouble others with the worries we have in our hearts. The truth is, if Heavenly Father meant for us to go through life alone, we would be going through life alone. Each relationship we have is a gift from God to help us along our mortal journey. If we can’t open up and be honest when we are having a hard time, we are going to feel alone… and we aren’t taking advantage of all of the gifts that God has given us.
We may feel that God has forsaken us. We may feel that He has stopped listening to our prayers. The reality is, God answers many of our prayers through other people, and unless you’re really lucky, those people cannot come to your rescue if they don’t know that you’re drowning.
The beauty of vulnerability is that it blesses us and it blesses others.
It is such a respectable thing when someone who seemingly “has it all together” can humble him/herself enough to say that they are struggling or that they have struggled in the past. It helps us realize that we are not alone. When others are vulnerable with us, we gain a greater perspective and strength to carry on in our own circumstances.
Being vulnerable does not mean you have to cry. It does not mean you have to publicize your trials for all the world to see. It does not mean you have to wallow or pity yourself. Being vulnerable is simply having the ability to say: “I am going through something and I need your help,” or “I went through something, but here’s how it impacted my life.”
Sharing our stories can provide us with the ability to overcome and heal from our hardships, and can inspire others to do the same.
In our mortal lives, we will never reach perfection. To me, that is one of the most beautiful things about life. We live, we make mistakes, we learn, we try again—sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we don’t. All that God asks of us is that we keep progressing, and that we assist His children along our journey.