She’s not perfect, you know.

That mom on the playground with those kids dressed-to-match and her with her matching shoes-and-bag? She’s not perfect, no matter how perfect her shoes are.

And that newly minted grad who’s rising faster up the corporate rungs than you are, than you ever did? He’s not perfect either, and neither is that mom who never, ever, ever misses a game or a match or a show or a PTA meeting.

None of them are perfect, you know.

Even if you kinda think they are, while you’re thinkin’ you’re kinda not.

Truth be told you might just be like the rest of us. We tend to fall into that trap-of-comparing what’s on someone else’s outside to what’s on our inside.

The truth is we only get to see the parts of people that they let us see.

We might get to see the perfectly-matched, perfectly-prepared, perfect-attendance parts, but those aren’t the real parts that really matter and you and I both know this.

And you and I both know that the only way to real connection is to really know the other.

Only when we share our real live humanness, not just the shined-up-for-public-consumption picture, can we really connect.

But the thing about really sharing? It’s really sort of scary. Vulnerability is the one thing that can open us to real connection, but it’s also the one thing that can open us to real hurt too.

And honest? Not everyone has earned, or even can earn, the right to see your real. And you haven’t earned, and might never earn, the right to see their real.

That doesn’t mean there’s not a real there.

There’s always a real person behind the perfect-picture.

But yeah, it’s hard not to start comparing your own outburst at that mess-of-a-room-that-hasn’t-been-cleaned-in-a-month to her humble-brag about how her crew tidies up without her even asking even though she’s told them time and time again not to (and can you even believe? she asks…to which the only sane answer is…no. no I can’t. I cannot believe that.)

Sometimes the only thing that saves your sanity when you’re starting to compare is just a knock-upside-the-head and a good old-fashioned reality check.

The truth is that not one of us that graces this planet, that’s been graced with life, is perfect.

Let’s all just stop trying to be perfect, and start trying to be real.

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms. (~ Zen Shin)

You can’t compare an apple to an orange. It will cause a lot of self-esteem issues. (~Craig Sheffer)

And yeah, it’s also true that you might never ever know that perfect-woman’s imperfections, but trust me on this one…

…they’re real, and they’re there.

The soccer-mom who’s never missed a game? Might just be missing the love of the one she thought was the love-of-her-life.

The picture-perfect-family that fills the first pew on Sunday? They might just be puttin’ out a perfect-picture-for-the-public, while in private the progeny they’ve raised is raising Cain and raising concern.

That upward-mobile grad who’s got it all together? What you don’t know – what he’ll never let you see – is that he’s in over his head with the bills and the work and the stress and he’s really just sort of longing to go on back home where life wasn’t so hard.

He’s not perfect.

None of us are.

And this? This is actually okay.

Actually, this is more than okay.

Because this is an opening.

A way into realization.

Realization that we don’t have to compare and we certainly don’t be needing to judge because humanness and imperfections and struggle is what connects us.

Even if we don’t know the specifics.

We don’t have to know specifics. We just have to know that we’re all not perfect.

And this is our opening.

An opening to love.

An opening to give grace.

An opening to stop comparing…

…and start connecting.


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