{Unplanned shot taken at a truck stop somewhere in Arizona.}

There’s a deep inherent desire in all of us to believe that every aspect of our lives should come with a perfect, happy ending. Maybe it’s been drilled in us from watching too many romantic movies and reading too many fairy tale happy endings. Although it gives me a twinkling satisfied feeling when I leave the theater, I know it does nothing for my sense of true happiness in the real world.

That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in magic and miracles and possibility.

Quite contrary.

But I believe that when we give up hope for perfection, we get something better than we expected.

I’ve wasted too much time holding onto relationships that weren’t good for me, projects that didn’t fit and opportunities that were more of a hassle than beneficial. Although I can’t get that time back, I can back my future my changing my present.

In the end, we all need to let go of control and let in faith.

Maybe your career isn’t perfect. Your home would never be on the Nate Berkus show’s “House Proud” segment. Your family is more Osbournes than the Brady Bunch. And your relationship? Not the fairy tale ending you dreamed it would be.

But when we base our lives on an imaginary, unrealistic picture, we not only sell ourselves short. We sell our lives short.

It’s almost Christmas and New Year’s is right around the corner. It’s a great time to start recognizing the real gifts and magic out there now. Instead of trying to force an unrealistic vision, why not celebrate the freedom of life itself?

I realized that whenever I’m caught up in the end result, I’m missing the big picture and all the possibilities that come with that.

The best gift I can give myself is learning to be grateful for this moment and this moment only. In order to so, I must let go of the vision I have that a life lived perfectly is a life well-lived. This means that I must let go of the perfect day and even a perfect moment. This means that I must give up on having everything I want to accepting a life lived the best way I can. It’s an exchange that may feel like a sacrifice. But in the end, I know it’s one gift I won’t want to give back.

What will you let go of in 2011?

 

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