The Many Gifts of Imperfection
What is it we wish to pass on? What legacy do we hope to leave when our bodies leave this earth? When others look at us what do we pray they see? What do we hope they remember when they think of us?
We’re living in a world filled with illusions, filters, Instagram worthy snapshots. Perfect hair, perfect bodies, perfect lives, perfect everything. It’s driving us all crazy, this never ending quest for perfection, or rather for the illusion of perfection, because perfection is always just that…an illusion, albeit a persistent illusion. We say we’ve had enough and yet we continue to scroll. We continue to follow and like and dream that maybe one day we too will be perfect. If not, at least we can say know perfect people. We can be perfect adjacent. What is this illusion of perfection teaching others about life, and do we wish to participate in the message, or is enough truly enough?
For me, the most profound example I can use is my perspective as a mother, as my sons will forever be my greatest adventure, my deepest gift, the role that matters most to me as a human being. So what matters most to me as a parent? I used to believe I needed to be perfect, or as close to perfect as this battle weary woman could get. I needed to get this right because they are everything to me. They deserved a perfect mom. They are worthy of perfect parents and I would kill myself trying to get myself there.
Today I am brought to tears of gratitude for this awareness; my boys do not need anything remotely close to a perfect mom. What they need, what they are worthy of, is a mom who never gives up, no matter what. They deserve to see that life is, at times, brutal and raw, that the storms can be unrelenting. They deserve to see their mom knocked to the ground over and over again. They deserve a mom who keeps getting back up over and over and over again, a mom who refuses to quit. A mom who vows to keep struggling to grow and become a better human being. They are worthy of witnessing a real marriage between their parents, one that is frequently filled with laughter, generosity and love, and one that also goes through periods of confusion, frustration and darkness and yet continues to survive and strengthen. They need living examples of this critical life truth; we don’t give up, not on ourselves, not on each other, not ever. It is mandatory that they witness their mom making mistakes, dusting off, owning those mistakes, learning from them and continuing to grow. They deserve to see what's on the other side of struggle.
Had I gotten my wish, had life listened to my silent prayers for perfection, my boys would have been so grossly short changed. Whatever illusion of perfection I had managed to create would have only passed on the massive distorted belief that we can hide from life, that we can outrun ourselves, that image outweighs substance. The greatest gift of imperfection is just this simple; life is beautiful, and terrifying, and majestic, and extraordinarily painful at times, and this is how we navigate it. This is how we dig deep and show up for our lives and each other.
Our loved ones don’t need us to be perfect. Our illusions of perfection will cripple them. They need us to be real. They need to see our resilience. They are watching for us to show them how it's done... Perfectly imperfect.
Much peace & love always,