Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Perfection

I like to walk alone because that's my time to think.  This morning I was also on the hunt for some leaves and flowers to use in a class I will be teaching this coming weekend.  As I stood looking at a bush, trying to decide on the perfect leaf, I thought of that word:  Perfect.  Perfection.  What is it?  What was I looking for?

The idea of perfection is something that I have been chasing all my life.  As they say, we are our own worst critic, and I am sure that is true for me.  I measure myself by that elusive perfect and always fall short in my own eyes.  But I don't expect perfect from others.  Why should I expect it for myself?  I suppose I could trace it back to something in my childhood or spend forever talking about it in therapy.  In fact, I have talked about it in therapy.  A lot.  It is the root of all my problems, I am sure, my pursuit of perfection.

My brain equates imperfect with not good enough.  In everything:  The way I look, the things I do, the jewelry I make.  But, the truth is, I am imperfect.  So are you.  So is everyone.  If you think you're perfect, then you have more problems than I do.

I give great advice.  To other people.  So when I think about something like this, it's best for me to think about how I would talk to someone else about it.  So here's the part where I tell you that imperfect does not equal not good enough and that it most likely is not only good enough it is the best it can be.

If I keep telling myself this, maybe one day I will believe it.  I am what I am and I'm not perfect.  But I do my best and, while that is not perfect it is the best I can do.   It's tiring and self-defeating to continue to chase perfection. Also, futile.  And our imperfections are what make us who we are and aren't necessarily bad.  What I see as an imperfection in a piece of jewelry I have made, someone else sees as a quality that comes from being handmade, or they don't see it at all.  Like Willow's eyes.  Crossed eyes are considered a defect in the Siamese breed and a disqualifier in shows.  But I wouldn't have her anyway else.  Her crossed eyes make her the goofy-looking, clumsy, sweet cat that she is.

I know I would tell you here, if you asked, to accept your imperfections, and perhaps even embrace them, but while I think I've become a bit easier on myself as I have aged, I'm not sure I'm ready for that. 

As I thought of these things, I chose my leaves.  And they are not perfect, but they beautiful as they are and the best they will be.


  1. Great thoughts Lisa, thanks....for reminding me.

  2. It's easy to accept other people as they are; why is it so hard to accept ourselves the same way? Thanks for sharing the thought... :)


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