Two years ago I started making random confessions to the world. Blogging is like that. It brings out all sorts of personal things you would normally only tell a best friend. Suddenly you are perfectly comfortable sharing things like the fact that you have pulled dirty socks out of the laundry for your son to wear to school. Disclaimer: I did smell them first, though, I promise. They weren’t that bad.
At the time you are typing the aforementioned sensitive information into your laptop (thinking of it as a sort of therapeutic exercise) it seems like you are just writing for yourself. No harm done. But then you look at the stats from the day and realize about thousands of people you don’t know and everyone googling “stinky feet” forever more now know the embarrassing truth about your laundry and child rearing failures. They know you are (gasp), REAL.
I have also revealed over the past few years that I suffer from a disease.
“Hi. My name is Melissa and I am recovering from magazine cover-itis.”
OK, so I made that disease name up but the symptoms were very real. Suffering from Magazine Cover-itis years ago meant I based my contentment in life by how “magazine cover worthy” my home was. And my home rarely met my expectations.
Decorating is something I love, there is nothing wrong with being passionate about how God has gifted us. Creativity is a blessing and I am grateful for it every day! But it became a disease for me because while decorating brought me happiness, it also stole some of the joy from my life. The magazine cover house in my mind was not always appropriate for me, and that led to discontentment and misplaced priorities.
My blogging friend Nester has a similar disease. Her made up disease name is much funnier than mine…she says she suffers from Decorating Perfectionist-itis Affliction Inflamation Disease Disorder Syndrome, DPAIDDS for short. Whatever you call it, we both are both happy to admit we have nearly recovered from our symptoms. We may never be cured of our inner cravings for creative perfection (that is how God wired us), but we are able to wholeheartedly embrace the imperfect lives we have.
Confession is not only good for the soul, it is good for other women. Your kids may never have worn dirty socks to school and you may have never desired to make your home look like the cover of a magazine, but all of us have imperfections we have struggled to hide or didn’t want to admit about ourselves.
Just knowing there are other women out there who can relate to the every day struggle of finding beauty amidst the chaos of life has been a big encouragement to me! I’m thrilled that God has allowed me to be online to share my own love for creating a beautiful home and more importantly, share my heart for embracing a beautiful life that is rarely magazine cover perfect.
If my everyday life was on the cover of a magazine, it would have to be called Authentic (i.e. messy) Living. I’d be happy with that!
Overcoming Magazine Cover-itis, DPAIDDS or any form of perfectionism requires refocusing attention to the true beauty of what is often hiding behind the camera — real life in all its messy yet lovely imperfection. Admitting our struggles is often the first step towards our recovery.
What imperfections do you struggle with? It is good to be real with each other!