The beauty of imperfection

Many people in our society today are over achievers. The burden of excellence somehow rests on our shoulders. We painstakingly strive for perfection in our homes, careers, and families. No matter the circumstance, misfortune, or situation, we are determined to make it on our own. But, what exactly is perfection? Is it the level of achievement I attain through my own merit alone? Why is it hard to hear wisdom and demand a little less of ourselves? Who are we really trying to impress?

When the world turned upside down

I went from trying to do everything to being able to do nothing. My injuries after the fire were devastating.   I was completely helpless for months.  There is something about having your world turned upside down that makes you look at life differently.  You certainly change the way you measure success.  All the daily activities we ordinarily take for granted became a greater challenge for me than climbing Mt. Everest would be for an able-bodied person.  Standing was a great victory.  Walking was a triumph.  Cooking a simple meal was cause for great celebration.

Measuring our value

How do we measure the value of a human being?  Do we value one another only for what we can DO?  Is our value wrapped up in our achievements?  When everything is taken away, the person that we are remains.  Who is that person?

Let me suggest that we are like a handmade work of art. There is perfection in mass produced pottery.  Every piece is exactly the same.  However, when you look at handmade pottery you will find that no two pieces are the same.  You will also notice little imperfections.  These imperfections are just part of the process of creating art.  In some cases, the imperfections become a personal signature. Handmade pottery is prized for its imperfect beauty.

We are not the same.  We each have our own unique imperfections and different limitations.  What would it take for us to let go of the quest for perfection and instead pursue the art of life?  Could we get to the point where we see the beauty in our imperfection?

Comparing ourselves to others

Comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for discontent.  We tend to compare ourselves on our worst day to others who are at the top of their game.  Comparison is a joy stealer.  No one else is you.

“Winners compare their achievements to their goals.  Losers compare their achievements with those of other people.” – Nido Qubien

Letting go of the need to impress

When we doubt our own value, we often compensate by trying to impress others.  Peer pressure isn’t limited to teenagers.  We acquire things to impress others.  We dress to impress others.  We talk about our accomplishments in hopes that others will be impressed.  I especially like Joshua Becker’s quote:  “Don’t live to impress.  Live to inspire.”   Can’t you just feel the freedom that comes with making this change in mindset?

True confidence is living out the beauty within.  Unveil the masterpiece that is you and live a life that will inspire others.

Remember life is most enjoyable when there is heart, beauty, and true confidence.

*This post first appeared on Jennings Wire where Justina is a contributing blogger.