Friday, June 8, 2012

Embrace Imperfection


I would like to start off by saying that I am really excited to be writing my first Embrace Your Life post.
I think the ladies here have done an excellent job of creating a blog that has an opportunity to touch
people’s lives for the better, and I am very honored to be a part of it.

I’ve been thinking over the last few days about what I would write about in this first post, and I went
back to the theme of the blog – embrace your life – and I started to think about the parts of ourselves
that are perhaps the hardest to embrace: our imperfections.

I’ve mentioned on my own blog that I suffer off and on from depression. I never quite know when it will
hit me, but it’s always very similar in its attack. I will go through the day with blinders on. As I get out
of bed to walk into my girls’ room to greet them for the day, I don’t see their smiling faces or their joy at
my presence. I see the clothes on the floor that I didn’t clean up last night, the dust on the shelves, and
the fact that it took me a couple of minutes to get in there this morning. I see all of this, and I call myself
horrible names, and I start going to extreme places with my thoughts of how bad of a mother I am. This
just creates a snowball that gets worse as the day progresses.

As I said, I suffer from depression, so I am very good at these mental leaps, but depressed or not,
mother or not, I think we all go through this often in our lives perhaps even more than we realize. We
can be surrounded by our successes, receiving praise at every turn, and yet the voices that ring the
loudest in our minds are of the failures.

I’m sure we all have different reasons as to why we let the bad become so prominent in our thoughts.
But the problem isn’t recognizing our faults. The problem is when they get out of perspective. The
problem is when we let them define who we are.

I realized last week that the reason why these thoughts are so troubling to me is because I feel like they
are failures. I guess somewhere deep inside I believe I should be the perfect person – perfect mom,
wife, employee, homemaker, writer… And so whenever I make a mistake, I feel like the universe has
fallen off orbit, and there is something fundamentally wrong. As much as I understand that perfection is
not possible, I still berate myself for not being able to achieve it.

And then yesterday, I told myself that these imperfections are just proof of my humanity. We are all
imperfect, and we all make mistakes every day. We can rage against them and hate ourselves for them,
or we can embrace them as proof of a fundamental truth: we are imperfect. In a backwards sort of way,
the more I started to embrace the label of imperfect, the more okay I felt with myself.

This doesn’t mean ignoring mistakes and relishing in them, but it means accepting them as part of our
lives and ourselves. If we accept them, we can recognize them in peace, and if we are in peace, then we
can make some progress.

Fallibility is part of our nature. We have absolutely no choice in it. And this fallibility will impact all
areas of our lives. If we choose to ignore it or try to eliminate it, we are fighting against an opponent
that we can never beat, and that opponent is human nature. Instead, we need to accept imperfections
and embrace them just as we accept and embrace the faults in our loved ones.

Embracing life means embracing it all, warts and all. And for me at least, when I am able to do that, I am
finally able to find some peace.

And so I say to myself and to all of you, “I am imperfect, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about
it.” And wow that feels good!

No comments:

Post a Comment