I took this at a friend's housewarming party a few weeks ago! She has a charming, tiny little flat, full of hidden steps, pink walls and chandeliers - it's where I imagine a grown-up Alice in Wonderland would live.
This was in her bathroom - and I couldn't resist!
What a lovely sentiment to be reminded of when you look in the mirror.
Sometimes when we strive for perfection, we're so busy focusing on what we don't like about ourselves or our current situation, that we lose sight of the good things.
I was reminded of this at the end of last year. I was writing a little "sum up" of 2008, and I felt this incredible heaviness in my chest and tears freezing on my eyelashes as I wrote, because I was writing about the horrible events of last year, all the things that wore me into the ground and destroyed a lot of my confidence and faith, in both others and myself. I didn't really want to share this with anyone - it made me feel terrible writing it. What good was I doing spreading the negativity? So I decided to only write down the good things that had happened in 2008. To my surprise, there were a lot of them. A lot. And I hadn't even realised it. I had spent most of that year very unhappy, always thinking about the things that had gone wrong and upset me, without realising that a lot of good things were going on at the same time. It was an important, humbling lesson for me.
Perfection is a dangerous aspiration, I think. If we go through life expecting perfection, we're always going to end up disappointed on some level. Success, to me, is happiness. If you’re happy, you’re loved and you’re safe, that’s what counts. True friends only care about your happiness and won’t judge you on how you got there.
Somewhere in our lives, if we think hard enough, is at least one person who loves us just the way we are. They don't care what size jeans we wear, what our hair looks like, how many chins we have in photos. They don't care what job we do, how much we earn, or how many letters we have after our name. They don't think we're stupid if our dress gets caught in our backpack on the walk to work (true story! Very embarrassing), or if we get some hot chocolate on our nose (again, true story). They just love us. They see the things that we, in our quest for perfection, often can't.
Try and see yourself through that loving person's eyes. Forgive yourself for your flaws - we all have them. Love yourself as they love you. In their eyes, you already are everything you'll ever need to be.