My parents growing up would tell my sister and me to “do your best.” I have heard that so many times. The Boy Scouts of America even uses it as a motto/slogan. I like it, but I do not love it. It has a very big expectation if your mind is very big in its wanderings.
In my young and older brain this “do your best” slogan has impacted me greatly. When I was young I would truly try to do everything perfectly. I was a rule driven and compliant child. I was a “goody two shoes” or “Brown Noser.” The teachers and my parents loved me. However, I was not always “popular” with my peers.
Sadly peers can be mean. We can also be self-damaging in our own heads. Over time, I really did not want to “do my best.” I was exhausted from performing to the highest expectations of others. As an adult wife and mother I have created a motto for my own life in my head and heart. “Be Okay with B or C work.” I don’t have to be a straight A student anymore. I never really did have to be. My parents would have loved me as much as they do now (a huge love) no matter what grades I had received. But at the time, when I was younger I though that my best was As and that is what I got from K-College. I only deviated once with an A- in English Lit during my BS at the University. I don’t think this matters except that I want to share with you the reader, and with myself reading and writing this to process it all.
I recently told another high achieving mom that “it is okay to give B or C work.” Just pass. Be okay with failures and imperfection. We walked for an hour that night, and we did talk therapy about how being a wife and mother is quite hard. We want to “do it well.” We want to “do our best.” However, reality is that if we want to be a well-balanced and happy adult we have to be okay with imperfection and know that we all make mistakes. In allowing myself to make mistakes I’m more inclined to accept the mistakes of others. My husband and kids will fall short from my expectations as will I in their eyes.
Today’s the day to “Be OK with B and C work.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backwards, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret.
This is a waste of time & energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.”
Romans 8:28, Sarah Young’s interpretation in Jesus Calling, May 9
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
You are working for good in us and others.
Forgive us when we only see the mistakes.
Give us peace and grace to go forward to love ourselves and others no matter what.
Your Spirit is in us to help us through each day.