Finding Beauty In The Imperfection
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I was recently speaking to a dear friend of mine, who is someone I often meet up with to discuss matters of the heart and life in general. It’s so important we have the ability and opportunity to create our own community where we can share those things that mean something to us, and also those things that weigh heavy on our heart. During one of these recent and familiar heart-to-hearts with my friend, the phrase “finding beauty in the imperfect” came up, and given that it resonated so strongly with me then, I’d like to share my thoughts on the same with you all as well.
Life, for all of us, is a mosaic of the brutal and beautiful. We often find ourselves right in the middle of these polar expressions. I don’t know about you, but it seems that life has become more and more challenging now. We are more stressed and anxious than ever before. While I prefer to live in reality and the here and the now, I have always looked to the horizon for the next best thing to enter my life, and when it’s hard to see the more positive things on the horizon, it can leave you feeling flat. I like my business, relationships, and life to have some kind of order, some kind of attraction and development, and the gulf between where I am and where I want to be is where the unrest of my heart can dwell.
As such, the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect seemed quite profound to me, and so I decided to chew on it, reflect, and meditate on this notion that there is beauty in our mess, in our pain, in our suffering, and in our transition from where we are to where we want to be, and even more importantly, who we are and who we want to be. Personally, I have always wanted more, not of objects or material things, but I have always wanted more from life, and more notably, from myself too. I want to keep growing and evolving, and I can sometimes become frustrated with myself and my situation, when I struggle to find the best way to express the true likeness of who I really am.
So, how do we find beauty in the imperfection? How does one practically and mentally do just that? I have always been one to try and overcome a challenge- after all, I have a fair degree of stubbornness that runs through my veins, and I want everything yesterday. I am pretty sure that could ring true for you too, and so, here’s how I have gone about realizing this particular endeavor, and how you could do the same:
1. Acceptance. Accepting where you are in life, and realizing you have what you have based on the choices you make (with some exceptions, of course), but if we really look at our life, our situation is often based on the small everyday choices to the more life-changing ones that we are responsible for, where we live, what job we do, etc. Acceptance often brings us empowerment. We become at peace with ourself when we just accept where we are in life, and look to make small steps to improve and evolve in our quest for more fulfilment.
2. Process. T. D. Jakes said: “You can’t have progress without process.” This means that some lessons in life, we simply can’t bypass. There is wisdom, growth. and knowledge in the process. People dislike Monday’s so much, and yet the only way to the weekend that people love is to go through Monday to get to it. Sometimes, we have to go through the ugly and the painful (a child birth, for instance) to have a positive result (a baby).
3. Being gracious with yourself. For me, this is probably the most important point, and the one that I struggle with the most. I always expect more and better from myself, I always want to outperform myself; I want to live in the best way I know. I want to do everything with heart, or not at all. The need here is for us to realize that what we may be going through in life is stressful, difficult, and problematic, without feeling the need to embrace shame and guilt when perhaps we haven’t dealt with a situation with excellence, and so become highly critical of our own behavior or performance. We must accept when we are doing our best, and be accepting that, at times, sometimes our best is not enough, and that’s ok.
4. A shift in mindset. Everything is won and lost within our minds. Our ability to rule our mind is the most critical component to the way we see the world and ourselves. Our mind is what will lead us to our greatest achievements and our worst nightmares. We are all on a journey of self-discovery. Finding beauty in the imperfection comes from us shifting our minds to one of criticism to self-care, and extending grace to our imperfections and moving from the not-quite-there-yet to the realm of I-have-nailed-it.
At the end of the day, we need to know that where we are right now is not where we are going to be tomorrow, next week, or next year. Depending on how well life is going, that could be me throwing you a bone, or giving you a reality check that life fluctuates between the beautiful and the brutal, but when it is of the more brutal variety, that’s when we all need to find the beauty in the imperfection, in the pain, and in the struggle. Be encouraged, take two minutes to consider where you are in life, and how you feel, and while your family, business, and life maybe missing key components, you can still find little pockets of beauty. Life keeps moving forward, so the small choices we make every day do matter, and they do count. Rome wasn’t built in a day- focus on the bricks, and not the fortress. Focus on the beauty in the imperfect. Establish a routine and stick to it, create spontaneity within your routine, and take back control. Appreciate there is always a gulf between where you are, and where you want to be.