Learning to embrace our imperfection
We may not all have it to the same degree, but there is a longing for perfection within all of us.
If I was to summarise my teacher reports through both primary and secondary school it would be like this:
Could to better.
‘Could do better’ feels like the mantra for my life.
I know it is true on one level, but it’s also true that, no matter how much better I do, I could still do better than that.
Perfectionism can never satisfied, it never stops demanding more.
This is why it’s dangerous.
The path to perfection is the path to endless disappointment. We never arrive; there’s always another corner; there’s always another mountain peak.
It’s because of this that I’m so grateful for these words from Richard Rohr:
“The only true perfection available to us is the honest acceptance of our imperfection.”
There lies freedom.
True perfection in life is found not in the endless pursuit of the unattainble but in embracing our inevitable imperfection.
Being comfortable and content with not being perfect—whatever ‘perfect’ actually is—is the only and true path to perfection…and freedom.
This doesn’t mean we don’t strive to become better people and succeed in life. It isn’t about apathy. It doesn’t mean there aren’t character flaws we could and should work on.
It simply means that we accept and love ourselves as we are.
We don’t attach our identity and our worth to something that can never be satisfied.
Image: Stephanie Krist