Do you ever notice how “Striving for Perfection” seems to be the quest we are all on? In our media, we see one perfect body after another. Even with the new and improved Bruce Jenner, we see perfection in his/her layout on the front cover of Vanity Fair. Don’t get me wrong, I agree for a 65 year old man/woman; he/she looks pretty darn good! We may be searching for the “perfect friendship”; the “perfect car”; the “perfect spouse” and even the “perfect body”.
I think what we as a society need to be really careful about, is when our search for perfection continues to make us feel less than or not good enough. There’s a difference between trying to improve our lives and obsessing about being perfect or having the perfect life!
Our imperfection reminds us of several important facts about being human:
1) We aren’t supposed to be perfect! We have a creator though who is!
2) We can be loved by others even in the midst of our imperfections. There’s no better friendship/relationship than that of total and complete acceptance!
3) We can love others that are imperfect! In order to do this, there are things that we need to work on accepting about others. Maybe they are too loud, too bossy, too lazy, too critical….I could go on and on. The point is they are on their own personal journey just as we are. Our goal is not to have perfect people in our lives but to walk along side them on their life journey.
3) We as humans are learning and developing all the time! Imperfections takes us to a place of learning and growing. When you see or feel imperfect, ask yourself: “What is this imperfection teaching me about myself?” Sometimes it may be self-acceptance and other times, it may be a internal guide to move in a different direction.
As I continue to work on my own desire for perfection, I will work on being authentic around others, even if it brings out imperfections :). I will also reflect on the times that the imperfection jumps out at me so I can learn and grow as I am meant to do. Most importantly, when I struggle with “Dang it! I’m not perfect.” I will look to my creator at His perfection.
Janice Feuerhelm, LPC
A great book on this topic is Brene Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection”.