Monday, April 27, 2015

Within The Flaws, Cracks And Breaks

I consider myself a recovering perfectionist and will likely continue on this "road to recovery" indefinitely.  The tendency toward perfectionism is a stubborn streak within, and although I've made progress in learning how to temper this streak, it periodically regains its power, sometimes as a speed bump that slows me down, other times as a road block that halts me in my tracks.  I take a deep mental breath and figure out my way around, over or through...

I am working very hard to make peace with imperfection - within myself, in my art and in my life.  The reality, of course, is that nothing is ever perfect!  With this obvious truth, embracing imperfection should be simple work, shouldn't it?  Why, then, is it far from simple for many of us and typically most difficult to embrace within ourselves?

I've discovered that admiring what is "perfectly imperfect" is often most easily accomplished in nature where grace exists in a broken or misshapen seashell, a wilted flower or fallen tree.  

Despite the Leafy Thorn Purpura aka Leafy Hornmouth's misshapen appearance,  
this lovely shell is one of my favorite, although infrequent, beach finds! 

This Fairy Lantern aka Globe Lily lost one of its petals, but still caught my husband's eye on a recent hike,
and I, too, paused to admire and capture its beauty.

I also value the worn, subtle beauty in old, vintage and well-loved items - a soft, faded handkerchief, a scruffy childhood stuffed animal, the tattered pages of a favorite book, the rusty patina of aged metal, the wabi-sabi aesthetic of earthy pottery.  

Interesting shapes and textures at the site of an old barrel mill
in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

As we observe our surroundings, our awareness of the beauty, grace and inherent value in what is flawed, cracked, broken or otherwise less than pristine can inspire us to appreciate our own inevitable imperfections.  They are tangible reminders of the less tangible, yet very valuable flaws, cracks and breaks within ourselves and our lives.  By reaching a comfort level with our perfectly imperfect selves, we achieve a level of self-acceptance that liberates, empowers, centers and completes us.  The connection to our true essence becomes much stronger.  The lyrics from a Leonard Cohen song shared in an older post enter my mind again...the cracks allow the light to get in.

May you celebrate all that is perfectly imperfect around you and within you!