Letting Go of Perfect When Volunteering
leaving perfect behind — in expectations of yourself and others
Although we can be in the busyness of mom-hood, sometimes we can have the opportunities and desire …. seeking outside organizations to give of our time, outside projects to work on, non-for-profit organizations to finance or become involved with.
I love doing it!
There is nothing like getting out of your own head space and home once in a while and seeing other people in their life, story, need, and coming up with solutions with a team of people.
You get a chance to work alongside people or you get a chance to serve them. The best is when you can make an impact on their life that you get to see.
Not to say “Look at me I’m so great!” But to know that you can make a difference. It can spur on bigger and better things for you! It’s exciting to be part of a difference and part of a change. To be in the middle of something that is for the greater good, and forget about your own problems, and messy house for a while.
Better are the chances that you get to take your children along to experience volunteering. (but I’ll save that for another post 🙂 )
What’s not romantic about volunteering though, is when your knee deep in projects — projects that are taking longer then expected, fundraising that can demand more than you wanted, working with other people’s personalities…
It can be difficult.
It can get messy.
It’s not perfect.
It can get discouraging.
You can encounter one obstacle after another and your excitement drops from the high hopes that you started with. You can get caught in setbacks that you never expected to encounter. When the project is said and done or your volunteering time is over… most of the time you can say that it didn’t turn out the way that you planned.
It’s not a reason to give up, but a reason to let go of the perfect expectations that I can have on myself and other people.
In the end you have to let it go…
-the end results
-other people’s reactions
-the perfection you desire of your “baby” project
-your “plan” to be followed step by step
-resentments of different opinions (different “well meaning opinions” are healthy!)
-the future project that you’ve handed off to others
-your work that was never for yourself anyways
-different opinions you don’t agree with
-different ways people do their work
-even when you CAN’T see the results
You have to let go.
1)Trusting that you’ve done your best and there is nothing left for you to do.
2)If you didn’t do your best, trusting that you DID contribute a piece to the project.
3)Knowing that you’ve learned something — and that somethings that you learned will make it easier for the next time that you do a job like this.
4)Trusting that you’ve grown as a person, and you’ve developed relationships with other people.
5)Trusting that all the ways you were pushed outside your comfort zone was for your personal growth benefit.
Recently, I was driving home at night, having finished a meeting with the organization that I’m volunteering with. As I drove home in my van thinking, and picking apart all the points that I missed, and points that my fellow workers didn’t do perfectly either…
…this song then came on the radio and I found myself humming along and letting our mistakes wash past, because the truth is that all of us, at our meeting, are not perfect, including myself.
We all try our best and give what we can to the work we do. The rest — I need to let go of. The rest we have to trust God for.
We do the work that we can within the structure of the organization that we are working for.
No one gets it perfect.
It’s not an excuse to stop learning and becoming better, but it is a very good reason to let go, and not mentally nit pick over the imperfections.
If you know that everyone’s heart and motivates are in the right place and you are all working toward the same goal — What else is there to do?
Do you have trouble letting go of the end results?
Do you get hung up on imperfections in organizations too?
How do you let it go?
write me in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you
By: Sharon Schuler