REfine Perfect You

 

REfine: Getting Back to the Perfect You

If you are ready to trade in a lifestyle of striving for a lifestyle of peace, this one is for you…..

When we hear the word “refine” most of us automatically think about improving or polishing up something. We think of editing, tightening, or enhancing to make better.

And we are a culture that loves to refine. We are bombarded with images convincing us that our lives need improvement. And by “lives” I mean every single nook and cranny of our lives, needs WORK. Or so we are told.

And of course, we want to have the home that looks like it should be in Better Homes & Gardens magazine. We want to be fashionable, upgraded, and have it “together.”

We thought we left junior high behind, but as a long-running ad campaign goes, we all still want to be “IN.”

But our constant compulsion to refine ourselves brings anxiety and a never-ending to-do list.

After all, there’s so much to refine!

The wardrobe, the hairstyle, the makeup drawer – for starters.

The garage needs refining, and the shed requires more like an overhaul.

The kitchen, the playroom (argh), the dining room table landing strip….

Then there’s the home office- oh, forget refining, just burn it down and start over!

But let’s not forget our social media presence, our Facebook photo albums, and our passwords.

The meal planning needs work, the laundry system (or lack thereof), and general household function.

Then, there are our waistlines and wrinkles; these most definitely need constant improvement.

And then, we discover exhaustion.

Good, old-fashioned, white surrender flag exhaustion.

It is flat-out tiring being in a constant state of self-improvement.

And little did we know that living in a state of alarm at the next-thing-that-needs-improving was actually breaking down our bodies and minds and making us sick. Until we were.

Oh, and a little bit of shame and self-loathing along with the circles under our eyes.

Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to organize your space or systems – in fact, doing so will bring both practical and therapeutic benefits! Sixteen years and thousands of client appointments into professional organizing, I can tell you that taking back your space and systems WILL restore your sanity!

But what I’m trying to get at is the motivation behind the action.

I’m trying to uncover our often deeply held belief that WE need improvement. That if we don’t take action, or refine and improve every little inch of our lives that WE ARE NOT OKAY.

It’s such a subtle and deadly drain on our lives because we often haven’t recognized the message behind self-improvement: you’re not good enough.

Just a little more would help.

A little smoother, a little tighter.

A little cleaner, a newer model.

Ugh. You get the idea.

So, what can we do?

I’m inviting you to quit.

Quit the self-improvement striving. Retire the magnifying glass and whistle you’re using on yourself.

And discover the TRUE meaning of REfine….

As you know if you’re one of our frequent readers, “RE” means “back or again”.  It indicates a return.

And “fine” means a pure state free from impurities.

To “refine” means to return to perfection.

Now before we trigger perfectionISM, which is a devotion or adherence to being perfect – an unhealthy drive to be perfect in everything…..

Let us pause and take a deep breath. And another.

And let’s talk.

I know…I know! Many of us (myself included) have believed for some or all of our lives that we need improving. We don’t think it’s wrong. We think it’s noble to try and improve yourself. It’s better than being lazy, we argue (because we only perceive two extremes.) We may even have been taught that self-improvement is a sign of being cultured, of being educated.

But many of us took a permanent detour in that subtle moment when the innocuous message of self-improvement became “never enough.”

In my own journey to trade in striving self-improvement (and the conscious and unconscious anxiety that goes with it), I had to change my paradigm.

In my old paradigm, I was flawed and needed fixing. And all my stuff, space, relationships, and systems needed fixing. Constantly. I couldn’t rest because the tapes in my head were goading me on… “it needs to be just a little better to be enough….”

To free myself of the lie of “never enough” and my unconscious contract with self-improvement, I had to reconsider my formerly held beliefs:

I had to transcend the black and white “people are basically good or people are basically bad” story that has been told.

I had to get some healing for my soul that had believed that I was flawed and everything about my life needed development.

I had to discover for myself that the Original Plan was not angst and self-abasement in pursuit of progress and enhancement.

The original plan included the Original Me.

…the one who did not need improving; who was created with such a unique and perfect design that I was the only one of my kind. A limited edition! The one who was created in the image and likeness of perfection! The Original Me is the only one with my fingerprint, smile, wild hair, and unique “secret sauce” to offer to the world. And THAT ME needs no improvement.

In my journey to dump the messaging and activity of self-improvement I’ve found that it was simpler than I first expected.

I thought it would be hard to take my claws off my own self-efforts but it was actually a relief.

Instead of trying to logically dismantle my belief that I needed fixing, I just began to override it with the truth of who I really am – the Original Me. I got to know – and am still discovering –the Original Vicki.

If you are ready to retire the self-improvement striving, I want to invite you into the truth: the Original You is waiting to be discovered!

When we discover the Original Plan and the Original Us, we no longer have to try to “get anything” from life, jockey for position, or fix ourselves and our life. We finally can take a deep breath as we enjoy this beautiful life as it was intended and find our unique role in it!

~ Vicki Norris

 

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