imperfection is a form of freedom


Life happens.

We encounter realities despite the fact that we pursue the mystical perfect life.

Perfection is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame. Brené Brown

I realized that I had two choices. I could drown myself in self-pity and obsess about how imperfect things were, or I could live my life to the fullest and look at life for all that it was…imperfections and all. Brené Brown

If I am humble enough to admit that my life is not perfect I open myself up to change.

To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength. Chris Jami

If I fear failure, my ego will push me to try harder … to exceed expectations … to pursue societal standards of perfection.

If I have the mentality to do everything perfect…or not at all. I won’t do it.

Peter was afraid not of bodily harm or imprisonment, but of being critized and ridiculed by the Jewish believers back in Jerusalem. Acts 11:2.  In other words he was concerned about the opinions of others. Galatians 2:12

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means you haven’t succeeded yet. Robert H. Schuller

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. Edmund Burke

I can use my mistakes to learn. I can apply self-correction and grow.  I can fail my way to success.

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. St. Augustine

I am full of mistakes and imperfections and therefore I am real. Shaun Hick

My favourite word when my choice is the wrong one is…NEXT. It is a signal to my brain that we made a left turn instead of a right one, and we make our course correction accordingly. Unknown

I learned to have compassion for myself, to quiet the critical inner voice.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice  compassion.  Dalai Lama

What did I gain through my imperfect life?  I found happiness, contentment and joy. I realized that I have blind-spots, those things we don’t see, but that others can! I had to shelve my pride, learn about humility and receive input from others. I grew away from self-criticism, and changed my ways.  I yielded my life, and surrendered to peace.  I learned to appreciate the good stuff. When you have experienced sorrow, joy tastes sweet!

There is no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. Ziad Abdelnour

Your world might not be perfect, the people around you might not be perfect, you might not be perfect, but you can change the way you look at all the imperfections. God (who is perfect) knows exactly who you are, therefore He speaks to your potential and not to your persona (mask).  Your identity is in Christ. John 1:42

Forget about the opinions of others. Forget about the selfishness, hatred and strife.  Adjust your mindset and work on the unhealthy tendencies that motivate you to make the wrong decisions.

A few of us are what we seem. Agatha Christie

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. Olive Wendell Holmes

God can turn average nobodies into Elijah revolutionaries who fear nothing except falling short in their faith in a big God. Johnny Enlow

 Adjust your expectations.

There is an anecdote, told and retold through translated Japanese literature, of a Zen master who is staying with a priest at a temple close to Kyoto.  The priest is having guests  over that evening, and he has spent much of his day in the garden – shaping the moss, plucking weeds, and gathering up the leaves in tidy arrangements, all in order to achieve the state of perfection the temple builders had originally designed.

“Isn’t it beautiful,” the priest asked the master…

The master nodded.  “Yes…your garden is beautiful; but there is something missing…”

The old gentleman walked slowly to a tree growing in the center of a harmonious rock and moss combination.  It was autumn and the leaves were dying.  All the master had to do was shake the tree a little and the garden was full of leaves again, spread out in haphazard patterns.

“That’s what it needed,” the master said.  Janwillem van de Wettering

See beauty…

In Dwellings, Linda Hogan recognizes the beauty of imperfection in an old rake:

My own fragile hand touches the wood, a hand full of my own life, including that which rose each morning early to watch the sun return from the other side of the planet.  Over time, these hands will smooth the rake’s wooden handle to a sheen.

Beauty can spontaneously occur at any given moment, given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view.  Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace. Leonard Koren

We are surrounded by imperfect beauty: old people with wrinkles, a testimony of a life well lived; the bald heads of cancer survivors; para-olympic athletes; amateur church choirs or old furniture that has stood the test of time. We are all far from perfect, but we have the Spirit of God in us.  His hands created our world, and the beautiful vistas that take our breath away.  But God is also present in us, the imperfect, the humble, the unconventional and the ordinary.  His grace covers it all!

Ring the bell that can ring.  Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.  Leonard Cohen

Take courage! Step out and be the person that God created you to be.  Glorify Him through your potential.

You will never influence the world by trying to be like it. William Gibson

Art and love are men’s greatest gifts to himself; and there can be no art without love. Art is always the making of the soul, the craft of a human being’s touch. David Hawkins


Encouragement for January

  •          Create something (take a picture, a facebook update, paint, write…)
  •          Do you like your creation? (Even if it is not perfect)
  •          What is the shape, the colour, the texture?
  •          Does it evoke feelings in you?
  •          Is a memory triggered?

When we give ourselves permission to decide what is best for us, transformation can occur.


This article is dedicated to my mom, Charlotte Vorster. She encouraged me to try…needlework, patchwork, painting, pottery, interior decoration, etc. She taught me to appreciate beauty, art, music and words. When I was discouraged because my work was not perfect, she showed me that some traditional artists deliberately made mistakes in handmade objects (Persian carpets, Navajo rings). She taught me that we create for ourselves, that I must like it and that this was all that mattered. She taught me that only God creates perfection, we just play with whatever is in our hands.

Next month…

Life is more than a ‘like’ button!

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