Pictured below is an antique piano given to us by very dear friends. As you can see, on the exterior, the original casters are missing. What you can’t see, on the interior, is the inner workings that will not allow for it to stay in tune any longer. What you hear is a mostly off key instrument with a few good notes in between. I find great beauty and joy in this piece, in all of it’s imperfections, and for the character it holds within. I thought that this would serve as an appropriate metaphor for this post. Even the lamp that sits on top (pictured below) is missing some of its original crystals which I have attempted to replace over time.
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit it, I can be bit of a perfectionist. It’s just part of my genetic makeup. I work hard on curbing my critical nature, but at the same time, I feel fortunate to be this way because it helps me to stay focused. I am most critical when it comes to myself, in all aspects of my being, from the superficial to the supremely important things; yet when it comes to the world around me, I find the most beauty in its imperfections.
First let me express my thoughts on perfection. I truly believe that the whole concept of perfection is an unachievable myth. Those who try to achieve perfection never really get there because there will inevitably be an even higher accomplishment or standard set right in front of them, which makes it a constant and almost infinite plight. Perfection is also quite subjective. What I deem as perfect, you may not, and visa versa. Also, if someone presents themselves to others as being perfect then, well, there are just too many internal issues within their being for me to consider delving into on this post. We can visit that type of person at another time. Let’s just say, for now, that they are not.
The dents, dings, and lopsidedness of it all is what really gives me great joy! This goes for all living things as well as objects. For example, the used chest that has the veneer peeling off a bit is more appealing to me with it’s old patina than a brand new one. The old house, even though it needs a lot of work, gives me goosebumps as opposed to the ones in the newest development. The quirky old friend that I just cannot figure out and older women that carry themselves with class and grace are way more pleasing to me than the opposites of the aforementioned. All theses examples have one common thread running throughout: character.
You see, perfection really does not rate high on the character scale with me. I believe that in imperfection, you find the real beauty within yourself and the world around you. The seasoned individual, the well developed soul, the wisdom accumulated through a lifetime of trial and error, and the untuneable old piano.
I would like you to be able to find the peaceful truth of this overshadowed beauty within you and to reach out into your surroundings while embracing its imperfection of character. To be comfortable with your body, home, and the ones you love. Not to be expecting this unattainable myth of yourself, or anyone you know, because moving forward you’ll find that this is an unreasonable request and will ultimately leave you damaged, disappointed, and unassured. Also, do not ever let anyone put these expectations of their perception of perfection onto you. You cannot and should not live up to those unreasonable standards because you are already perfectly imperfect. Be blessed, be happy, and be you !!