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Making the Best of Imperfection in an Imperfect World

Updated on October 11, 2013
Be bold!  Be beautiful!
Be bold! Be beautiful!


One doesn’t need to be a genius to know that the world we are living in is imperfect. I wonder though - how many of us are willing to admit that we too are imperfect beings, living in this imperfect world?

Think about it for a minute or two.


"Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows." - Nisargadatta

Pretense

Most days we rise with the sun, put on our “face the world” persona and go about our business pretending that we are as near perfection as is humanly possible. Who are we fooling? Only ourselves perhaps.

In truth, we are far from perfect. That’s right. I’m talking abut you, me, a neighbor, or even the lawyer or accountant that knows far more about us than we would like. It is our nature to present ourselves to the world in ways that keep others from seeing who we really are. Is it vanity or pride? Arrogance or fear? Do we even know what lies at the root of our need to be perceived as perfect?

We are living an unnatural existence, pretending to be perfect. Our desire to appear perfect isolates us. In our quest to appear perfect, we have separated ourselves from a natural existence, where imperfection is acceptable and, expected. Oh yes, imperfection is “normal” and recognizing it allows us to learn, to grow, and, it gives us the tools to become the person we were born to be.

For Women

Can you imagine, for even a moment, that you are okay, just the way you are? How long has it been since you ran out of the house without make-up or that Vera Bradley purse. Do you dare? You say you are a liberated woman? Are you really? Are you liberated from the opinions of your community? Do you let them see the dark circles under your eyes from sleepless nights of worrying about finances? Have your friends seen you in that worn out old t-shirt, dirty hair pulled back in a ponytail? Would you tell them that your child needed you more than you needed a shower?

Has your husband seen you crying over the long days of meetings, deadlines, and unreal expectations of your boss? Did your boss notice the bruise on your wrist where your boyfriend pulled too hard when you tried to leave? And, did your daughter notice that you only glanced at the note from her teacher and made no comment about her concerns? Relax. If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are normal. You are an imperfect being living in an imperfect world.

For Men

You have a tough job. It can’t be easy being tough all the time and feeling like you can’t show emotion. What would the guys in the shop think if they saw you struggling with tears, wondering how you were going to pay the mortgage this month? Would they laugh at you because you can’t find the problem with the car sitting dead in your driveway and can’t afford to hire someone to fix it? Do they understand why you keep turning them down for that boy’s night out? No, you haven’t told them that your wife is in rehab and there is no evening childcare available to someone on your budget. Do you think they have guessed that you took that part-time job to help make ends meet and that is why you can’t hit the court with them on Saturday? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are normal. You are an imperfect being living in an imperfect world.

Taking Off The Mask

There are solutions to this dilemma we have created for ourselves and it’s really not that hard to solve. We simply have to take off our masks, get real, and stop living for the sake of appearances. We are only fooling each other and - ourselves. There is no perfection in humanity. Perfection only exists in nature and if we keep expecting to find it in people, we will always be disappointed. Isn’t it time to stop the madness? There is freedom and joy in being exactly who you are. Will you dare to find it?

Spiritual growth comes from accepting our imperfections.

Rethink Your Life

Priorities change as we age but some of us don’t make the adjustment in our day to day activity. We know we feel differently but gosh, the world around us still thinks we’re the same. So what! Accumulating material things doesn’t excite us any more. Attending all those fancy corporate events is a bore. Our jobs no longer provide the same satisfaction and suddenly we realize we don’t have that same old competitive spirit anymore. Is that really so bad?

Where is it written that it’s not okay to spend more time with our family and less on the job? Who wrote the rules and said that if you don’t have too much stuff, you aren’t achieving? When did we determine that to lose a sale or a game made us a failure as a human being? Can you see how the simple act of asking ourselves a few questions can bring clarity and relieve the pressure?

Simplify Your Life

By now you may have noticed that this is not instruction manual on becoming perfect. No, this was never intended to give you the answers to all the struggles in your life. To give you the answers is impossible because – I too am only an imperfect being living in an imperfect world. I don’t have answers, only questions, but in asking them of myself, I am learning to accept my imperfections. They are many and for now, I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m so okay with it that today I’m going to leave the dishes in the sink, fix myself a snack, and watch a football game in my ragged old t-shirt and fat-pants. Those are the ones with enough stretch to encourage lounging and they bear the scars of years of wear and tear. They feel good on a lazy day and I haven’t had one of those in a while. I will not put on make-up, no matter who comes to visit and I will make myself a promise to give something away today that I don’t need anymore. Oh yes, I am becoming liberated from my desire to be perfect and I like it. Bring it on imperfection. This is real life and I am determined to enjoy the ride. Some may say that I’m no longer as pretty. Others will observe that I no longer need to be the top sales person or the best dressed at the party. In fact, I may never again be the best at anything but I think I will be okay with that. Being imperfect in an imperfect world is okay as long as I strive to be the best imperfect person I can be. The recipe for that is pretty simple and has only three ingredients – live, laugh, and love.

© 2013 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Prosperity66. Thank you for spending a bit of time with me, an imperfect being just trying to make the best of what the day might offer up. I certainly agree with you about the impact this has on building relationships. Wishing you a simply more perfect day than you might even expect.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Robin. Good to see you here. Thank you for the read and the compliment.

  • profile image

    Prosperity66 3 years ago

    Making the best of imperfections in an imperfect world is often be... ourselves. This makes getting to know people more, invaluable.

  • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

    Robin Grosswirth 3 years ago from New York

    Hi Linda. Long time no read. Glad to have stopped in to read this piece. It is a parallel to and complement of a book I just read, "The Gift of Imperfection" by Brene Brown.

    Thanks for reminding us that we are human, we err. And, of key importance, thanks for making this a less isolating experience.

    Best,

    Robin

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gypsy. Thanks for the votes and the supporting comment. I'm always happy to see you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Miz B !!!!! I love you. I am so sorry to hear that Mr B has been having a rough go and hope he will turn a corner SOON. I loved your shoe story. I despise shoes of any kind and haven't had on anything with a heel in many, many years. I am built for comfort, not for speed. :-)

    As for perfection, I have a theory of my own. I think that we are born "near perfect" and most spend their lifetime unlearning all that they came here knowing. Just my theory. That said, I do strive to be worthy of my existence and experience here on this planet. Sometimes I fail but I'm okay with that. I see every failure as an opportunity to try again and try harder. Amazingly enough, I've actually learned a lot the hard way.

    So, I had been looking to see if you were still here and if I would get one of your B-dazzling comments. I am happy and satisfied. Sending you love and hugs across the air waves. Tell Mr B to straighten up. lol

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Voted up and awesome. So very true. Always to live, laugh, and love.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    Hi, kindred spirit, it’s good to see you back in fine fettle. I’m in and out of here intermittently. Problems with Mr. B., the medical kind, knee replacement, explosive gall bladders, little things like that. Anyway, my efforts at physical perfection went to hell in a handbasket. I said “to heck with it!” No more heels at work. Just put on the comfort sandals and powder my nose. Something funny for you, because of my small narrow foot, I really have trouble finding shoes that are a comfortable fit. One day I was buying this plain pair of black SAS sandals when the salesman, an older person (like me), said, “those aren’t very good looking, don’t you want something a little prettier?” I answered, “I have a closet full of beautiful shoes that I don’t ever wear and I want something comfortable. As long as they meet the dress code, I don’t care.” He goes, “oh,” and sold them to me.

    Soapbox time. We are spirit beings who rent a human body for a short sojourn on this planet. We have forgotten who we really are, therefore, we try to be so perfect. When we tap in to our higher, we realize that we are here for the experience, and that perfection is unattainable. Our efforts at perfection should be aimed at living the best lives we can with the cards that we have been dealt. But everybody has his or her own path to trod – just try not to screw it up.

    Voted you up++

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello B. Leekley! Thanks for the well thought out and detailed comment. You said it "perfectly". lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Eddy, thanks for the visit. Hope you are diong well.

  • B. Leekley profile image

    Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

    Up, Useful, and Interesting.

    I'm imperfect, too. They say that I'm too humble and that I don't give myself enough credit.

    Just kidding.

    The whole concept of perfection requires standards by which to measure. The question to ask yourself is, what are your ideals? To have the patience of a saint? To have the bravery of a movie star or a President in the face of stage fright? To be a writer with Shakespeare's mastery of words? To have the cooking skills of a 5 star chef? To be as great a lover as Don Juan DeMarco? To be as forgiving and loving as Jesus? Perfection is living up 100% to your current ideals. Creating yourself is choosing your ideals and doing your best to achieve or be them. As you say, don't expect perfection of yourself; do ask of yourself to do your best -- and when you do less, forgive yourself and begin again to do your best to be your ideal, perfect self. Choose new ideals as seems best to you. That is how to grow. Perfection is an eternity ahead. Doing one's best is a choice now.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

    A great read. I so enjoyed this one and voted up plus shared.

    Eddy.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, you are a good Mom. It is not easy to be caring yet realistic when someone you love is hurting but you are so right about "opportunity". You and I know tht your son will look back one ay and realize the truth but oh the folly of youth. lol Yeah, life is grand if you don't expect perfection. :-)

    Appreciate the visit, the wisdom, and the caring! Sending hugs back at ya!

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    well said! words of wisdom my friend!

    Personally, i look at being wrong or apologizing as opportunities...

    my son and his live in gf of 31/2 years broke up 2 days ago. He's just a mess..inconsolable - even tho he knows it's the best thing..(and, it is..)

    i support him and give him an shoulder to cry on, but - even now i am putting the notion in his head that his is an excellent opportunity for growing and learning..

    sigh.

    ain't life grand..

    sharing/caring

    hugsxx

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Deb Welch - thank you so much for your kindness. Blessings to you as well. I appreciate the visit.

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 4 years ago

    You are showing your wisdom here lrc7815 . Truth be told and you did it nicely. Posting. Blessings.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Carol, I'm right there with you. I wonder what I will screw up today. lol

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Perfect..If we could be that..we would be very boring..SO I am up for not being boring and making mistakes..and we are all going to do that for sure.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Michele, I think it makes sense. lol Thanks!

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    LOL! Perfection, No way. I love life, but trying to be perfect, would make life imperfect. Life would be hard and sad. That would be imperfect, so life would not be perfect. I hope that makes sense.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Macteacher - I love your attitude. Thanks for visiting. Live, laugh, and love imperfectly!

  • macteacher profile image

    Wendy Golden 4 years ago from New York

    I grew up with someone who has spent her life trying to look perfect. I'm watching it wear her out in her old age. I like imperfect. I like being imperfect. I like imperfect people. :-) Thanks for a great hub and an important reminder, that we all need to just live and enjoy.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    PaisleyGal - I love your attitude. Thanks for the visit.

  • PaisleeGal profile image

    Pat Materna 4 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    This is so so so true!!! The real key to loving oneself and having a good self image - Accept the fact I am imperfect and I serve the Only Perfect One. He made me like this so it must be in his plan. I'm ok with that. If the world is not then it's their loss!!!

    Voted UP all the way. Keep em coming!! :)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I'm glad you parents are settling in. You know, it's odd. Every time I think about a hubber I love and miss, the next day they show up! I was thinking about you yesterday and here you are. Cosmic, man! :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, hey woman! I've missed you. Mom and Dad are settling in. We still have some challenging days but they are fewer in number. You, I have never doubted. When we connected here, I knew you had taken off your mask and it's what I liked the most about you. You set a good example. I need to catch up on my reading of my friends hubs but I desperately needed to write this weekend. I'll be back in the saddle soon, I hope. Love and hugs to you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Randi, it's so good to hear from you too. Life is settling down a bit and I am only beginning to realize what I have learned over these past few months. I hope there are some more hubs hidden among the clouds and some longer days too (for writing). I hope things are well with you too and am looking forward to catching up on my reading soon. I'll be around, albeit infrequently. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, it's so good to see you again. I hope your parents are faring well.

    I have accepted my imperfection. I can't remember the last time I put on makeup. What you see is what you get! More times than not, you will find me in a ratty-looking t-shirt and sweats or knee length leggings and bare feet. I am who I am and I'm ok with that!

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

    Linda, so nice to read your hub! It has been a while. Like you, I am happy for the most part to take off my mask and settle for just being me. Thank you for this great hub! I hope all is well with you! Randi

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH!!! I have missed our exchanges and hope that you have been as well as is possible in your reality. I have much catching up to do on your poetry and limericks but for now, it is just good to see that you are still here and contributing to my life lessons. Thank you!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jackie, you always bring me joy with your realistic approach to life. Thanks for stopping by and confirming my belief that we do indeed need to get a grip. :-)

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for this. Arlene and I were fortunate, to touch our dreams and to bring them to life for others. That was before reality set in.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    This is great and it goes against everything we are taught every day. Lying to ourselves and saying we are great when we are not just is not the answer. It is time we many come back to earth and get a grip. lol Up and sharing.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Maria, you always bring a smile. Flannel works for me too. lol

    You are near and dear and never far away from my thoughts too. Wishing you sunshine and joy!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mary, what a dear you are. Your priorities are in all the right places. It's so good to find you here and to share in this journey with one as delightful as you are.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dearest Bill, you are still the first to visit and leave your footprint on my writing and my heart. I've missed you too, so very much. I've missed writing too and although time will not allow frequent musings for a while still, I hope to do a little more in the coming weeks. It's good for the soul. Love and giant hugs to you - for being my cheerleader and kindred spirit.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    I join you in your beautiful imperfection in my flannel nightie. I have made us a nice pot of tea. You are in my thoughts frequently and I am sending you much love, dear Linda. Hugs, Maria

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Ah Linda how true, how true. We are imperfect but how we live our lives can make us perfect. Make-up is nice if you're going somewhere special but otherwise, its just me! I don't have time for primping or pampering, I have to crawl on the floor with my four year old grandson, or go to a play to watch my seventeen year old grandson perform.

    I like your attitude girl and certainly agree, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE!

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Good to have you back, Kindred, and you haven't lost your touch as a writer. Excellent message, one I live by.

    We have company so I can't write more....wonderful article and I've missed you.

    bill