Why Being Perfect Sucks
I think my girl friend is the most beautiful when she first wakes up in the morning. Her hair sticks up, she’s kind of bleary eyed, and she always has this cute little smile.
Sure she doesn’t look as well put together as she might for a night out on the town. But she looks like herself in such an authentic way I find very appealing.
The reason I find it appealing is that, in that moment, her flaws aren’t hidden.
So often the fitness world and the world in general tells us to be perfect. It wants us to take sexy selfies and post only our most awesome adventures on social media.
But I think this is lame. Because it’s not the things that make us perfect that create beauty. It’s our flaws.
There is a form of Japanese pottery called Kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired using gold dust. This kind of pottery takes what many people would consider a flaw and draws attention to it.
It acknowledges a truth that our flaws create our unique beauty. There are many ways to create a nice cup, but the way that cup cracks is truly unique.
I understand that we live in a society that values beauty and the perception of perfection. From airbrushed super models, to fitness pictures that show the ripped muscles of professional body builders, there is a lot of imagery telling us how we should look.
So I’d like to offer you 5 simple ways to celebrate your imperfections and appreciate your own unique beauty.
1. Your Hands
Look at your hands. Your hands are one of the most interesting parts of your body. Maybe you think that they are ugly or knobbily or that you could be a hand model. But no matter what you think, your hands carry some very interesting information.
You hands tell a story about your life and the life of those that came before. You see hands don’t change much from generation to generation. So the hands you look at, look a lot like your parents hands, your grandparent’s hands, even your great great great grand parents hand.
Look at your hands and watch them move. Your hands are amazing and speak to the unique history or your past.
2. Your Eyes
Eyes are like snow flakes, no two sets are alike. Sure there may be color categories but your irises hold amazing variation and complexity.
Go stand in front of a mirror and look into your eyes. Focus on your pupils and irises. Notice all the subtle lines and the small variations in color. Notice how they move ever so slightly looking into themselves.
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Appreciate the unique expression of these windows in the world.
3. Your Belly Button
Belly buttons have always fascinated me. And perhaps that is a bit strange. Perhaps it’s because my belly button is kind of tucked into bed. It’s an innie but the top is peaking out a little bit. Because of this oddity, I’ve taken the time to notice other people’s belly buttons.
Take a minute and check yours out. Belly buttons tell us something very important. They tell us that we were once connected to another human being. There was a tether that tied us to someone else.
And though that tether is no longer there. The evidence is right there on our stomach, for us to see and appreciate.
4. Your Breath
Breathing is nothing short of one of the coolest things we do. We suck a mixture of gasses into our body. Then tiny little cells extract oxygen from those gases and excrete carbon dioxide.
But that’s not all that’s involved. Our mouth, nose, and throat prepare those gasses for our sensitive fragile lungs. They filter out toxins and particles. They warm and moisturize the air. They use that air to shape sound and change the quality of our breath.
Close your eyes, listen, and feel your breath. Focus on your nose first, then your throat, then your chest, then your abdomen, and finally see if you can feel each breath enter your body.
The way your body breathes is unlike anyone else’s. Your breath feeds your life, which is different from anyone else’s. And each breath is unique and beautiful.
5. Your Life
No one has ever lived the life you have lived. No one else has faced the same challenges. Sure there are similarities and commonalities. And we need these to learn and to be connected, but no one else can walk your life for you.
And because of that, no one can really tell you who to be or what you should do. You are the only one that can live this life. The Bhagavad-Gita says that living your life full of mistakes is better than living anyone else’s life to perfection.
Create a short time line for your life. Start at the day of your birth and draw a line that goes until today, then draw another line that leads from today until your death.
Then add important events along the way. Taking special attention to add events of beauty. You can write down the events or cut out pictures. Do this until you get up to today.
Then write things you want to do in the future between today and your death. It doesn’t have to be a million things but at least 3 – 5 things of beauty you want to do before you die.
Once your done take time to appreciate the unique beauty this life has to offer. Because whether or not they write a book about you, your story has touched other people’s stories is ways you can never know.
Question: Where do you find beauty in odd places? What about your unique life and body do you appreciate?
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12 thoughts on “Why Being Perfect Sucks”
This post is really, really beautiful. I loved the story about the japanese pots. What I like most about your blog is that you stop just before being cheesy. I really appreciate that.
(BTW, the last paragraph is written funny…)
All the best.
Great post. I too enjoyed the Japanese pots story — such a beautiful art form. I find a lot of beauty in nature, and it’s far from perfect. Trees are ripped down, branches are broken, logs are rotting, mountains are constantly falling down while lifting up. But the imperfections indicate a large process and connectedness — much like a belly button — that is almost incomprehensible in its beauty.
I love the comparison to nature Matt. I think you are totally right. It’s the little cracks you find in nature that make it so lovely.
Beautiful (wabe sabe)
This is cool! I love how you make us stop and think of the amazing things about our body that society typically doesn’t focus on. especially the eyes one, so cool.
Now I want to go get my stretch marks tattooed with gold dust!
This made my day. Thanks for your comment.
Really enjoyed this. (And your last paragraph has some errors, but i didn’t notice any up until then — which is why I was able to focus on the meaning of your message.) Thanks! 🙂
Thanks maganda for your comment. I checked out the last paragraph and fixed the error… I think. It’s funny no matter how many time I review something some mistakes slip through. It encourages me to just laugh at myself. Thanks for reading.
this reminds me of a song lyric from the scissor sisters: they’ll tell you you’ll maybe make it, if you cut your clothes and change your hair, but I won’t fuss and moan about what you wear.
I like it. I love song lyrics references. Music is such an amazing place to find these poetic ideas. Thanks for commenting.
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