With my daughter’s letter (Perfect even in our imperfection), I started pondering on what being human actually means.

I realized that society transforms us into robots with the notion that we constantly need to be strong. We adapted a survival mode leaving very little space for feelings and emotions.

Not even to mention the rat race which we find ourselves in.  Always busy, always going somewhere, always doing something.  No time to waste on feeling down.  No time to waste on dealing with our emotions.  We just have to endure and keep on going.

Perhaps that is the reason why so many people experience total defeat; even to such an extent where they think suicide is the only option left. 

I also fell victim to the above. Lending a helping hand became my crouch, making my problems and struggles insignificant. The other person always had it much more difficult. This instigated a pattern where I did not share my struggles.

In addition to the above I was married to a man who never allowed me to express my emotions and thoughts. I learned to repress all my emotions into a deep corner where it could never be discovered, or so I thought.

Being left brain dominant and phlegmatic caused me to become a master at repressing my emotions and feelings. Not even the people closest to me was allowed to share in my sorrows.

This seemingly inactive volcano was furiously raging at the bottom until such a time where it could no longer be contained and I could not hide my emotional turmoil anymore.

My first reaction was shame at the thought of losing control. I have always been the strong, content foundation in the lives of my children. 

Little did I know how important this breakdown was for the healing journey my children found themselves on. 

To them I did not seem weak. My breakdown was a sign that I was real and human after all. Not a robot functioning on autopilot, but a woman with a heart filled with pain and sorrow. It showed them that being perfect is not always that perfect but sometimes also “broken, beaten and full of chaos”. 

Without trying or realizing, I taught them one of the biggest lessons ever. Being perfect was actually being real. Real about your struggles. Real about your fears. Real about your emotions. Real about your doubt and uncertainties.

Being real helps people to relate and find the courage to work through their own struggles and emotions. They find hope in your journey through your storms and this gives them the courage to face their own struggles. 

We do not need perfect people with perfect lives or perfect control over their lives. We need real people to show us how to find the path in our desert.  We need real people who have walked the walk.  We need real people to bring us to the oasis were we can find healing for our broken hearts.

We need real people we can relate too…

Belinda Pieterse