Photo Credit: Spiritual Formation Centre

It’s Okay to be Imperfect

As we move through life trying to be perfect in an imperfect world, we end up getting hurt and scarred physically, emotionally as well as mentally. Life is such a huge rollercoaster ride and the situations, people, incidents which happen — some because of our fault, some because of someone else and many are just natural mishaps — but all of them leave scars on both the body and mind. In such a world trying to be perfect is madness — because it is something which is always within reach but never attainable!

The better approach is to embrace one’s imperfections — how does a scar matter, it does not change your looks — and if anyone dislikes you because of how you look without looking at your heart, then such people are best left behind in your life’s journey! I remember reading in a book long ago — I forget the author — that a scarred heart healed after life’s hurt and experiences is far more beautiful and sensitive than one which has not experienced any of your spectrum of hurt and emotional trauma. Such a heart is in a much better position to be filled with compassion and love because it has experienced what you may be experiencing today. The advice from such persons is invaluable and will always help you to heal and move on in life.

All the hurt and trauma one experiences in life is part of one’s karma and essential for enduring and moving onward on the spiritual path. Like Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” This statement is so profound and positive — just imagine two scenarios, one, where the hurt damages you physically and emotionally, you feel let down and depressed and end up blaming everybody but yourself for the situation you find yourself in; and second, like Rumi says you let the light enter within you from the wounds — you let the light heal the hurt as well as provide light and energy for your spiritual awakening. Which would you like it to be? The second approach obviously — inner well-being follows inner growth.

As you turn inwards you actually begin to see all your imperfections as if you are standing in front of a mirror — you become a witness to your imperfections and you smile and accept them, after which they are no longer ‘imperfections’ — they become ‘you’ in all your imperfect beauty!

In Japan, an ancient Zen practice which beautifies broken pottery — ‘Kintsugi’ — literally means to ‘join with gold’. In this practice, the pieces of a broken pot are brought together and glued with lacquer inflected with gold powder. The Japanese believe that the golden cracks make the pieces even more valuable — it embraces the breakage as part of the object’s history, instead of something to be hidden or thrown away.

Let’s end this post with a quote from Ernest Hemingway, “The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.” They are beautiful too, in my opinion!



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