Last week, I was speaking with a dear friend and the subject was how difficult it is to be vulnerable but that sometimes our beauty and strength is in our “imperfections”. Often it is those imperfections in us that inspire others.
Then right after our conversation I saw a quote on Facebook posted by Begin Within, “The world needs you now, not when you’re perfect”. Ok, that was just spooky…timely and profound…but spooky.
Shortly thereafter a friend sent me the link to Hedley’s video “Perfect”…you’re kidding right? Great video, by the way.
Can you see the theme unfolding?
Just this morning I read a blog by the beautiful Cecilia Moorcroft, who incidentally was a speaker at the Centre Wellington Women’s Expo this past Sunday. The theme of her blog was about voicing our intention and then following through. She says “we push aside the things that we really want to do until we're perfect”. She is absolutely right, but WHY do we do that?
To top things off, just 10 minutes before I sit down to write this blog the song “F-ing Perfect” plays on the radio…and I said to myself “Ok Ok…I get it! You don’t have to hit me over the head with Pink!”
Being that this theme keeps playing peek-a-boo with me over and over, I figure it is time to explore what it all means.
First of all what is the definition of perfect? What is the origin of the word? Turns out it is derived from the Latin word perfectus meaning “To finish, bring to completion.” And the modern definition of the word is “entirely without any flaws, defects or shortcomings”
Interesting. No wonder we want to be perfect; to be entirely without any flaws, defects or shortcomings. Imagine that! Wouldn’t that be incredible? Actually, it sounds like an awful lot of work and not much fun either.
Ok, so that being said, it brings to mind one small problem; the word “perception”.
I mean every single person on the planet has their own perceptions based on their own personal experiences, right? So wouldn’t that mean that for as many people that are on this planet, there are that many definitions of perfection?
For example, I may look at a painting and think “Wow, this is perfection” based on my own experience; how many paintings I have seen in the past; how much knowledge I have about art; how deeply connected I feel to the work, etc.
However, the person standing beside me may have a different perception of the piece simply because they have more experience in the art world. Maybe they are an art critic and can dissect the work and see the minute flaws. Maybe the painting simply reminds them of a painful experience and causes them discomfort. For them, the piece would be”imperfect” in some way, wouldn’t it?
Therefore based on perception, the word “perfect” itself is flawed.
Perfect is not perfect.
It is unattainable.
It is impossible.
So if we are waiting to be perfect before we ______________ (Insert your dreams, desires, life goals) it will never happen.
The truth is, we are not perfect and never will be; we ARE vulnerable, and yes, people may pass judgment. Remember the word “perception’? Yup, an awful lot of work trying to live up to other people’s model of perfection when there are soooo many people to please. I am exhausted just thinking about it…are you exhausted?
So here is what I have come to think of as the perfect truth based on my own experiences and perceptions:
Success is not reserved for “perfect” people. Success is reserved for people willing to risk judgment; who are willing to be vulnerable.
It is remarkable how healing it is when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and imperfect; and how many doors open to you.
Be fearless. Make mistakes. Be imperfect.
Go, open doors.
Perfectus meaning: “To finish, bring to completion.”
Cool, we can be perfect when we are dead.