By Varya Kapran
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Every day, we are bombarded with representations of “perfection”. Here, buy the perfect outfit. Have the perfect hair. Find the perfect partner. Have the perfect family. Find the perfect home. Be a perfect lover. Have a perfect body.
No wonder we feel terribly pressured! Pressured to present an image of said perfection and to punish ourselves for not living up to this representation.
But “perfection” is imaginary – an image. It is not substance or natural. It is something that we must work tirelessly to maintain, at the cost of our physical and mental health, and even our relationships. In the pursuit of this, we lose our self worth. We buy the outfits. We exercise and torture ourselves instead of moving creatively. We make demands of our partners and relationships. We make demands of ourselves. And in the process, we begin to lose ourselves, which is the greatest loss of all. We spend our days focusing not inwards but outwards.
That is not to say that it is wrong to be well put together or kind to others, but that one’s external image should be a reflection of who we are within, rather than a protective mask layered to hide what we perceive to be our imperfections – and the feeling of unworthiness this brings.
You ARE worthy. Of love. Of joy. Of laughter. Of emotional safety. You are. You have so much to offer, and believe it or not, your flaws are a part of what makes you unique, and makes you – you.
So what about this perfection we all seem to be chasing, or that we are being taught to chase? If it is but an image, does that mean perfection does not exist? Should we let go of this idea all together? Let’s take a moment to think about it.
The way perfection is presented in these contexts, something/someone being perfect means it/them is flawless. But nothing and no one is flawless! And even, hypothetically, if something were flawless, it would remain so for only an instant since our needs, and circumstances are ever-changing. Life possesses a dynamic duality.
I propose that this notion of perfection is unnecessary and impossible. It is notion that is (a) flawless and (b) static. Those two things are the complete opposite of everything around us in nature, and in existence. In fact, those two concepts are a reflection of the illusory control we often try to have over life, when really, such control is not possible. We must learn to grow, and change, and embrace the changes as they come. We can see the beauty within ourselves and around us only when we let go of the expectation of everything being flawless and static.
Here’s the thing. There is no such thing as the perfect home. There is simply the home that is perfect for you at this time, that brings your family joy and safety, but which may require some renovations or work as life goes on. Or it may no longer meet your needs.
Let’s forget about homes and material things for a second. What about the perfect partner? Do they exist? Will we even ever be perfectly happy? The answer is, emphatically, YES. But also NO – not in the sense you thought. No person can exist in a static flawlessness as they are human, and have both strengths and weaknesses. You and your partner or lover will complement each other, but you will also clash. There will be passion. There will be support, but also disagreement. There will be duality. And that’s ok. That is perfect.
Perfection in its true sense exists not as static flawlessness, but rather, as completeness or wholeness in the present.
This describes situations that are perfectly imperfect, meaning that they bring out the best in you, they challenge you, or allow you to fulfil your potential. Everything is perfect in the moment. I am perfect right now as I am. In another moment, I will be perfect in that moment. However I will never be flawless. Nor should I wish to be. Nor should you wish to be!
In order to fully appreciate this completeness or wholeness within ourselves and our surroundings, we need to learn to be present. And this is a challenge, since all around us, there is focus on speed, and movement forward (“progress”). And while having a direction and view of the future is key, learning to balance that with introspection is a lesson we are all here to share in. For that, that is where happiness, joy, and perfection live. That is where movement or mindfulness practice such as meditation, or dance, or any form of creative expression come into play – by allowing us to reconnect with the present moment and its perfection, while nourishing us in this constant journey forward.
During these practices, whichever ones resonate with you, take a moment and ask:
How am I perfect as I am now? How do I fit into this situation? How can I begin to fully embrace the things that make me, me? Where can I start to heal the resentment that I have held so long for myself and my perceived flaws?
Here’s a thought to help you along…
Denying your flaws is the best way to let them rule you. We all have a dark side and a light side, and a whole lot of grey in between. Recognize it. Recognize your callousness, your judgment, your lust, your vanity. Embrace it, and thereby remove its power. Embrace it all. These are parts of you, it’s ok. Experience them, but with no expectation of being flawless all the time, let them wash over you. Having flaws does not mean that they control you, they are just part of a greater beautiful picture of your being. They are opportunities to grow through the dynamic duality of life.
Today, say to yourself, and to your loved ones: I am. You are. Perfectly Imperfect. Begin to let go of the expectations you have of yourself, and your life. Laugh and embrace the flaws within it all, and the change. Embrace your perfect imperfection, or your imperfect perfection… whichever one you prefer.
And next time someone tells you lovingly, “You’re so perfect” – instead of feeling awkward, as if you have to hide your flaws from that person, simply say thank you. They’re right! You ARE perfect. And feel free to tell someone, if you listen to your heart, that they are perfect, or prefect for you. Because they are. They are an integral part of your life. And their colours and facets make life interesting and all worthwhile.
Previous articles by Varya:
- (re)Discover Your Inner Sexy!
- Loving Your Skin – 10 Essential Natural Topical Treatments
- Healing From Loss
- It’s Time To Come Home
- 15-Minute Flourless Double-Chocolate Cookies Recipe (YUMMM!)
About the author:
Varya Kapran is a wellness coach whose mission is to help people reconnect with their bodies through nutrition, herbalism, movement, and neural re-education. She works with clients worldwide supporting them in their goals through a combination of cutting edge research, alternative therapies, and other techniques. Her website, varya.ca provides resources, care, coaching, and community for those who wish to improve their quality of life.