Oh Mary, how we adore you! If you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’m so very sorry. Mary Poppins was a staple in my house growing up. Actually, anything Disney related was highly obsessed over and desired. And so if you have never had the pleasure of watching the beautiful Julie Andrews sing and dance and be perfectly proper, I’d suggest renting it right now and saving yourself years of regret!
But honestly, I loved her. The way she talked, the way she handled situations, the way she could snap her fingers and clean up a room, and her amazing bag of everything you could ever need… ever! I’ll take those last two traits big time right now Mary! Where can I get me one of those! Yet, as I’ve clumsily stepped into adulting, I’ve come to realize something about myself. Many times throughout the day, I can truly say I don’t like her. I mean, I really get annoyed and want to pull out my hair. Because life isn’t as simple as a snap or a bag that provides everything you need. It’s hard and tiring and flat out insane at times. She first used her clever measuring tape to measure the heights of the two children she was nannying. After humoring them, she then measured herself and at the perfect height she read the tape, “Practically Perfect in Every Way.” Ugh. Really? Let’s take a look at mine shall we? 5’7″ – “Barely Hanging in There Every Day.” And that’s why I have issues with marvelous Mary.
But please dear friends, let’s be real here. We don’t need a kid’s movie to come up with a make-believe perfect woman who’s got it all under control. Just look at your neighbor or your family or your bestie… Heck! Just look on social media. I’m talking to you Facebook! In our minds we have put some of these women up on a pedestal, thinking they have all their precious little ducks in a row. “If I could just be more like _____, then my house wouldn’t look like a bomb went off, and my kids would be dressed to the nines, my meals wouldn’t taste like burnt rubber, I would like the way I look in the mirror…” The list goes on and on. Our perceptions of others can often be our worst enemy. Assuming someone has the perfect life will almost always leave you sorely disappointed because it’s just not true. Expectations kill relationships, both big and small. And the same goes for your relationship with yourself! Yeah, did you know you have a relationship with yourself? Cuz you do, sister.
What you believe about yourself will inevitably come out in the way you live. There’s no avoiding it. You will see the world (and others) through those same self-made glasses, no matter how large the smear or tiny the crack. What word would you use to describe yourself, fellow frazzler? Alone? Unworthy? Failure? Weird? Unlovable? Whatever it is, if you keep on believing this falsehood, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy… and Lord knows I personally don’t want all my negative thoughts about myself to become a reality! Please God, no.
So what do we do here? And what truth do we really need to believe in order to be set free from expectations we’ve placed on ourself and others?
Okay, you ready…
Stop. Just stop.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop placing standards on yourself that no human being can reach. Stop looking in the mirror and seeing the WRONG and start focusing on the RIGHT. Beautiful One, do you know who you are?! You were created for greatness by the greatest of Kings! He sees no flaw in you because in you He sees His Son. He sees Himself and all the glory of heaven! And every person is a unique gift, perfect in their own way. I need to be me and you need to be you because otherwise if the world was full of me’s than I would drive me, myself and I crazy! Got that? I need you and you need me because as Jerry Maguire classily said, “You complete me.” Man, I’m really on it with movies today! But seriously, maybe we could see the value in each other and actually learn from one another, instead of judge. Individuality is a blessing indeed.
So my life doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t have it all together. And neither does she by the way. We all have our Mary’s, but does it really matter? Nobody is perfect in and of themselves. But because we are His, He has made us perfect in Jesus. He is not disappointed with you, so why should you be? We are in the process of walking into the perfection that’s already ours. That’s real glory.
I’m not ashamed to be around you any more Miss Poppins. You can keep your measuring tape and proper ways.
But I wouldn’t mind learning the snapping trick. Just saying.