“Celebrating imperfections” seems like an oxymoron. Because it’s a negative, the word imperfection technically is the opposite of perfect. And why would we celebrate something not perfect? But, we know that nothing is perfect. But remember, imperfect is not unfinished. It is not mediocre. It is not boring. It just is. Diamonds have flaws, rabbits have claws, the sun has spots, McDonald’s coffee is too hot and the ending to Beethoven’s ninth is too long.
It’s actually imperfection that drives transformation, progress and life itself. When writing a song, sometimes I play a wrong or unintended note. Many times I realize the wrong note was better than the right one. When genes mutate they produce imperfect copies, which in turn can be more sustainable. When an aquaintance shares a story about a mistake they made, a connection is made and friendship grows. My buddy helped me remodel my living room. The last thing we did was to fix one little corner. This spot then needed to be repainted. But now many years later, it is still unpainted. When I see it, it reminds me of my friend and how much fun it was to work together (honestly though it bothers my friend).
This week people told me stories about the nasty perfectionist that lives in them. This beast says things like, “you’re not good enough”, “you could have done better”, “you idiot, you forgot again”, “why can’t I be more like her?”. One of the people described a process he was taught to let go of this perfectionist thinking. Write it on a note, tie it to a helium balloon, let it go, and remember that image. Like the balloon, this feeling of inadequacy will leave us if we just don’t hold on to it. Another mentioned mantras like “I am enough” or “there are no mistakes” or “this too shall pass” as ways to let go.
I have often felt that it is my faults and my shortcomings that make me lovable (assuming that I am—oops). Who wants a friend that is perfect? Imperfections are beautiful (look at a Van Gogh painting). The way I see it, I need to take care of myself, say nice things to myself and most of all forgive myself. We are imperfect, beautiful creatures living on this little rock hurtling through space, let’s enjoy it!