11/11/2013 08:27 am ET

Would You Rather Be Perfect or Happy?

Have I led you to believe that my life is perfect? That my kids are always impeccably dressed and sweetly behaved? That my marriage is flawless and my home is gorgeously Zen and organized at all times? That I have bulletproof body confidence and walk around in negligee every evening for my husband?

Let me disappoint you (or relieve you).

The truth is, my life is far from perfect, and I apologize if I've led you to believe that it is. My kids are phenomenal little humans, but they look like ragamuffins most of the time and are prone to public meltdowns when tired. There are days when I'm so furious with my husband that I fantasize about putting all three of my kids in the car and leaving him for sunny Southern California. I truly love my body, but that certainly doesn't mean it's society's ideal. I am curvy, have some soft spots, and could definitely stand to lose a few pounds, but I am healthy and strong. I am not willing to diet or deprive myself and I really like to savor delicious meals and drink wine! It's all about our choices and where we put our time and energy.

Do you choose a perfectly clean and organized home or a place of play and comfort for your family? Sometimes we choose different priorities on different days. There are moments when my house looks gorgeous and beautifully organized for guests, but if you looked in the closets and drawers you'd see where I'd just stuffed a week worth of papers and junk.

My life is real.

My mentor, Lissa, just wrote a powerful blog, encouraging us to get real and to be honest with ourselves and with the world. We often feel like we have to present perfection to the world, but if we have or seek perfection in one area... it will be at the expense of another. Nobody is perfect in all areas at all times, and striving for it just might drive you crazy.

It is in our imperfections that we relate and bond with one another. It is how we handle our failures and weakness that makes us truly great. I do is strive to be my best in every moment. If that isn't working, I try to take a step back or a day off, get some rest, and try for better the next day. Why beat ourselves up?

Would you rather be "perfect" or happy?

And what example would you rather set for your child?

There was a time when I felt that I had to always put my best appearance forward to be a thought leader in the self-help world. I didn't want to admit serious weakness or major flaws... or else why would anyone want to follow me? I've matured and have come to understand that nobody's perfect, and what I crave now is complete authenticity. Don't you?

Life is beautiful, breathtaking, and lovely, but also complicated, messy and ugly at times. That's what is so amazing about our spirit's human experience! Without our struggle and pain, how would we fully experience and appreciate the beauty and joy? I urge you to let your guard down. Admit when you need help or are struggling. Nobody expects perfection and I promise that you'll bond with others through the tough times if you just let yourself open up and be real.

Come on now. Tell me about your "real self" below -- the good, bad, and ugly! No judging here, only love and acceptance.

For more by Erin Cox, click here.

For more on happiness tips, click here.

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