We see our physical imperfections every time we look at ourselves in a mirror. We sometimes reflect on our shortcomings or imperfections of character after we fail to respond to a situation in an emotionally-balanced way; When we realize we were untruthful to ourselves and to others, or when we harshly criticize ourselves for not having achieved something that is defined as successful or good by social convention.
All of this we come to see as our own imperfections. We see it as imperfect because it falls short of what we think, believe or expect to be perfect (that construct or idea we have in our head that we have built ourselves or that was handed down to us by society).
There is nothing bad in trying to be your best or make the best out of your life with your abilities or talents. What hurts is when you are enslaved by a compulsion to meet some ‘artificial’ idea of what it is to be perfect, thus becoming a ‘perfectionist’ in the negative sense of the word.
To be imperfect on the other hand is the most natural thing to be because—and I hate to break this to you—we are imperfect and always will be.
Reasons to embrace your flaws
Perfection is an illusion. In short, the healthiest path to the optimal life is to embrace your flaws and hence, here are some points of why this is important:
1. You stop being derailed from your true purpose
When you stop chasing an ideal that is not authentically yours, you give way to what is true and authentic. You give more space to follow your life purpose without obstacles. Being the best version of yourself in line with your life purpose has got nothing to do with being perfect.
2. It lightens you up
Playing the game of constantly reacting to or repressing your imperfections and trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect is highly toxic and draining. Embrace your flaws and accept who you are with all the ‘imperfections.’ It’s liberating and it lightens you up. Try it. It is the most invigorating tonic around!
3. You focus on who you are and not who you think you are
In relation to #1, when you embrace your flaws and let go of the idea of perfection, you start intimately discovering who you really are and stop concerning yourself with who you think you are. You meet your authenticity—your real self. Some people go on the wildest of trips in order to discover themselves when all they needed to do is dump the idea of who they think they are.
4. You measure things with the right perspective
If you can embrace your flaws you can start being more true to yourself by accepting that you are not perfect. It allows you to measure things with the right perspective. In a more general sense, you are framing your reality more soundly and not based on a false notion of self. Hence you become less prone to be crashed or broken when things flip on the wrong side because you measure those life issues with perspective instead of with panic or confusion.
In a way, being okay with who you are, gives you the freedom and reassurance to be more ‘grounded’ without being swept away too easily by life’s ebb and flow.
5. You stop meeting some of your ego’s whims
One of the characteristics of the ego is to be self-centered and whimsical. Like a 5-year-old ‘princess’ who believes the whole world revolves around her, our ego will go through inner dramas when life does not match that ‘reality.’ It will throw a tantrum or start telling us ‘stories’ of how victimised we are and how much life is unfair. Yet having a more ‘realistic’ frame of reference of yourself and your reality, will debunk the ego’s dramas and put it in its own space.
6. You are healthier
Of course being okay with who you are, including all your defects and shortcomings, means understanding acceptance; and acceptance is the real truce that stops the inner battles that waste our time, energies and puts us in a bad shape. Inner conflicts often arise because of a skewed self-image and this inner conflict may take its toll on our health after a long time.
Thus people who have accepted their selves and are living with inner peace are more healthy. This inner peace radiates through their body because they are less consumed and stressed by inner conflicts and battles.
7. You learn to open up to the imperfections of others
When you start learning to embrace your flaws and accept that you are imperfect, you also start opening up to the imperfections of others. You start being less impatient and irritated by the things that others do and which you normally find as being unpleasant traits of character. You are less prone to be judgmental and this opens up more space to accept and welcome in others exactly how they are without much expectation.
You become compassionate and this is particularly healing and constructive for long-standing relationships (such as marriages).
These points are all little reminders of things we already know at a certain level but we are not always conscious of. Everyone of us knows deep inside that letting go of the idea of ‘perfect’ and dancing to life as it comes is the path to real happiness. Most of all is the only path to be perfectly you.