This week’s calligraphy prompt was to use a commonly know proverb and illustrate it in some creative way. I chose to do a proverb study on the word perfect. The three sayings – picture perfect, practice makes perfect, we are perfect in our imperfection – were my content choices. I decided to be as imperfect as possible, so I smudged the purple dot at the top. The black smears on the letters were an accident. Once I did the first black smudge with my finger I then had to make it work by smearing more letters, thus making it look intentional. It is not exactly what I had in my head and yet the idea works.
All too often we think perfect has to be the only acceptable mark for what we do, who we are, how people perceive us. It is the totally unrealistic measure we use to decide how we are doing, how our lives are progressing, how we rate next to the other guys and gals. We all do it and it drives us to madness, when little do we know that everyone else is trying to be perfect too. It is the silent killer of self confidence, creativity, imagination and incentive. If I can’t do it perfectly then why try? There are eating disorders, online profiles that are untrue, false commentary and untold stories because if people knew the real us they would not understand.
The truth is nothing like perfection. What makes us lovable, relatable, human and someone to know is our imperfections. It is our flaws, our fears, our struggles and our questions that allow other people to know we are just as human and them. It is those we love in spite of their flaws that we hold so dear. It is the tears shed over joys and pains, the laughter mocking ourselves as we describe our last experience trying to buy a pair of jeans, or the failures we see that others find charming and relatable.
Loving ourselves in spite of our flaws is tough. We know what we wanted to deliver, while other people are only experiencing what we did deliver AND they don’t know that it wasn’t our first plan. Being open and honest with people about where we fall short and asking for support, prayers and guidance this is what make us people that other people want to know and love.
Give your own tendencies to seek perfection a rest, if only for one day. Let people know the real you and more importantly let you know the real you, not just the one you project to others. The sooner we give ourselves permission to be our genuine selves the sooner we begin living the lives and using the gifts that we have to offer to the world, the sooner we change our world one imperfection at a time.