How To Embrace Your Imperfections

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Accept Yourself Completely

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ― Brené Brown

To embrace our imperfections, we must let go of seeing ourselves as inadequate and embody the wholeness of our being. Consider the accompanying narrative of how our imperfections can be channelled properly: A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it while the other was perfect and consistently delivered a whole portion of water. One day, at the end of a long walk from the stream to his house, the cracked pot arrived half full. This continued daily for two years, with the bearer bringing home one and a half pots of water. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the cracked pot was embarrassed by its imperfection since it fulfilled only a fraction of what it was designed for. 

After two years of what it regarded as disappointment, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the river: “I’m ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house.” The bearer replied: “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I’ve always known about your flaw. I sowed flower seeds on your side of the path and every day on our walk back to the house, you watered them. “For two years I’ve picked these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being the way you are, I wouldn’t have this beauty to decorate the house.” 

Whilst a simple story, can you see how our imperfections can be channelled to good use? There are other ways to see our flaws and that is through the eyes of love. What we regard as our limitations is good fortune clothed as adversity, yet when applied correctly, it can transform our life. We ought to accept ourselves completely, knowing we possess a combination of qualities. Instead of bringing attention to our weaknesses, we learn to view them as gifts to transform into the wholeness of our being. It’s pointless striving to become someone we’re not. To maintain a facade over time is exhausting and strips us of our authentic self. We are not attracted to others because of their virtues; their wholeness of character is what resonates with us most.

Perfection Is An Unattainable Ambition

“Our love is perfect. And even though we may not be, our love creates a bridge that spans over our imperfections and joins us where it matters.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You

In order to accept our imperfections, we must cease trying to satisfy others. The more we aim to please other people, the less people will identify with us because people-pleasing is a powerless state. There are several leading actors and successful entrepreneurs with notable imperfections which they used to their advantage. Consider Arnold Schwarzenegger’s heavy accent which did not discourage him from becoming Hollywood’s most prominent star. Similarly, Richard Branson’s dyslexia was not an impediment when he was established his thriving billion-dollar Virgin empire. Whilst I acknowledge the following wisdom is often circulated, it is undervalued owing to its simplicity. The power of gratitude can help to realise the wholeness of our character. A blemish on an apple does not make it inedible, but gives it further appeal.

Equally, vulnerability allows us to embrace our imperfections because we communicate the same intention to others. It shows our humanness, given that perfection is an unattainable ambition if we wish to lead an authentic life. Without doubt, what we look for, we are certain to encounter. We should be mindful of our shortcomings, yet still bring our greatest work to life. As a further example, the actor Sylvester Stallone was once advised that his slurred speech would pose an obstacle to becoming an onscreen actor. Nevertheless, he channelled that objection to create a streak of successful films playing the lead character Rocky Balboa, the impoverished boxer hailing from the slums of Philadelphia.

We must welcome our imperfections and stop seeing them as an impairment. At some stage, we subscribe to a distorted image that portrays people as perfect. Perhaps the media plays a role, yet this image is far removed from reality. It is for this reason, we should let go of striving for perfection and accept our true identity. We are complex beings and our physical appearance is one facet of our existence. If we fixate on our imperfections whilst downplaying other aspects, we overlook the wholeness of who we are. As testament to this, have you ever met someone with an attractive personality that you became less aware of their physical appearance?

You Are Born To Be Real Not Perfect

“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.”—Soren Kierkegaard

Consider viewing a masterpiece painting from close up. Your attention is drawn to the bold brushstrokes that appear distracting to the eye. Yet, when you step back and view the painting from afar, you realise the beauty and complexity of the brushstrokes that outline the entire picture. Therefore, see yourself as a masterpiece beyond your shortcomings, replete with bold brushstrokes that completes the whole person. Your imperfections summon you to exercise self-compassion with your inner critic. Don’t abandon yourself when the inner critic judges your imperfections. See it as an opportunity to love and accept the disapproving part of you, instead of waging war. With concentrated attention, you can reframe your inner dialogue to be more affirming.

Honour your feelings and transform your inner dialogue to reaffirm your wholeness instead of focusing on your separateness. You are born to be real not perfect. There is no personal growth in a Utopian world and the last time I checked, we are a great way off Heaven, Nirvana or Paradise. We must quietly evolve into the highest version of ourselves. Perfection is not the answer if you aspire to attain inner peace. It will lead you further astray because you strive to change aspects of yourself you’re unhappy with. Gratitude, however, opens the doorway to acceptance and a heart-centred focus. In closing, your imperfections are based on an illusory perception that highlights one facet of your being. Welcome your flaws and realise the wholeness of who you really are.

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