My marriage to perfection is something I’ve noticed all my life. It began early. I remember bringing home an elementary school report card and instead of a long line of A’s, a B – appeared in the middle of the row. This “blemish” on my grades made me nervous. Since then I’ve probably shed many tears over perceived and real imperfections regarding myself or various events in my life. In the same vain, many times rational thought makes an appearance and with some deliberation I realize my angst over a particular imperfection is not warranted. Most of the time, perfect or not, the dominoes fall in the exact right place.
In the last few years, I’ve dedicated myself to journaling and practiced meditation in efforts to try to let go and really lean into my life (even if it doesn’t go as I have mapped it out). I thought I’d made some important strides, but I learned during my sister’s wedding, I still have much-needed work in coping with imperfection. Small details like the placement of linens or that I forgot to put the exact right set of bangles on my daughter became magnified. “It has to be perfect. I want this day to be special for my sister.” I don’t know how many times I said that in head and out loud to myself or to those around me. But really, in retrospect, my obsession on miniscule details, was it really that important?
The short answer is no. My rational mind knew that what mattered was my sister’s happiness and the emotions she exchanged with her husband during their wedding day. If everything wasn’t perfect, what was the worst that could happen? Nothing really. I am disappointed that, at times, I got swallowed by my emotional response. In my efforts to assemble the perfect wedding day for my sister, I failed to internalize and accept the true nature of things. On the whole, life doesn’t carry itself in a linear fashion. There are surprises, some good and bad.
Embracing those imperfections becomes the true measure of really letting go. I am not there yet.
How do you handle imperfection? Do you dwell on it? Do you accept it? Any tips on trying to cultivate a more imperfect life?
Image by jfh686