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Perfectly Imperfect: The Art of Self Acceptance

Let’s take the opportunity today to celebrate being Imperfect! (Yes, I am quite serious… keep reading.)

The drive for perfection is at the root of so much pain because perfection is an illusion. To strive for perfection and expect it from ourselves or from others is a sure-fire way to go down the road of disappointment and frustration.

Perfection does not exist because imperfection is the natural state of life—you are whole, the entirety of you, as you are right in this moment right now.

In Japanese culture there is a philosophy called Wabi Sabi that encourages us to search for beauty in imperfection. In this, we recognize that everything is imperfect, incomplete and in a state of change at all times. “Wabi” is about seeing beauty in simplicity. “Sabi” is about the passage of time. Together these words lead us on a path of surrender, acceptance, freedom and joy. The Wabi Sabi philosophy is represented by the art of Kintsugi, where a piece of broken pottery is repaired with gold, enhancing the beauty of the piece.

Let’s simplify this and break it into a few steps each of us can take right now and every day to make things feel better, lighter and more free flowing.

  1. Savor the present moment - When you are looking for perfection you are living in the future, waiting for the achievement of that impossible perfection. That means that you start every day hoping for more than is in front of you right now. Rather than waiting for the perfect moment, celebrate the NOW.

  2. Find beauty in simplicity and irregularity - Have you ever paused to take in a sunset? Sunsets are not perfect, they are not symmetrical and they are impermanent and change every second. Yet almost all of us has paused to wonder at the beauty of such “imperfection”.

  3. Practice self compassion - Instead of beating yourself up for a mistake, treat yourself like you would a small child, holding love and acceptance in your heart. Visualize being wrapped in a blanket of self-love.

  4. Practice gratitude - Each and every day, find just one thing in that day that you are grateful for. Look for something different each day and for an extra mood boost, write it down. You will be amazed at how your perception will shift over time.

  5. Celebrate your uniqueness - Your uniqueness is what makes you… YOU. Don’t try to blend in, but instead celebrate what makes you stand out.

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