Have you ever used a magic eraser? It’s this amazing little sponge that “erases” marks, scuffs, and blemishes off of walls, furniture, appliances, doors, toilets… pretty much anything. I might be obsessed with them. Because as it turns out, letting little boys ride power wheels vehicles inside the house in the winter can be tough on your walls.
I’ll see a scuff on the wall (almost always precisely at 8:15 am when I should be sitting at my desk). I think ‘oh, that will come off in a jiffy’! So I grab the magic eraser and scrub it off. Then, Oh, look at THAT one…. so I scrub that one off too. Well, this whole wall could use a touch up. I scrub the whole wall. Ooh.. look a the baseboard… and on and on it can go. Seemingly before I know it, I’ve scrubbed several walls. Honestly, it’s not really before I know it. I know what I’m doing and I keep convincing myself that I’ll just do one more…
This doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen.
These incredible little sponges work by ever-so-gently scuffing off the surface of whatever you’re cleaning. You learn by experience, that these sponges are intended to scuff gently. If you get a little too focused on perfection and grind them into the wall, they will completely “erase” the paint and maybe even some of the sheetrock. That’s not fun for anyone.
Not that I’ve ever done it before.
We use a lot of things in life like magic erasers, things that are intended to gently improve the surface. Things like clothes, shoes, purses, make-up, nail polish, hair color, spray tans, Botox, Facebook posts, Instagram pics, work promotions, cars, and even our personalities. They are great tools when we use them as intended. The problem is that it’s easy to get a little too focused on displaying perfection.
As I caught myself frantically scrubbing the wall under this painting, I stopped and thought, Why am I working so hard for perfection?
I started thinking about some of the other things I try to erase. I sometimes try to hide stories from my past. I pretend I know more than I do about business. Sometimes I even try to squeeze into jeans that are a size too small. I vacuum and straighten frantically before we have company. I spare you the rest, for now.
Of course, we want our appearance and our homes to look great. And we absolutely should, but we don’t need perfection.
We need humanity and connection.
Sometimes we’re trying to cover up or erase the very things that make us unique and beautiful.
Today, will you show yourself a little grace?
Will you try to remember that the thing you’re trying to erase might be the very thing that gives someone else hope that everything will be alright. Your bravery might even inspire someone to step up and do something they’ve been too intimidated to try.
It might be your co-worker at the office. It might be your best friend or your spouse. It might be your child.
Most of all, if we stop trying to erase all our imperfections, we will be more content.
When we’re content, we’ll end up wanting fewer erasers after all.
What have you been trying to erase?
Share in the comments and maybe we can all start to ease up on ourselves, together.
To more Love!