“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” -Brené Brown
In traditional Japanese art, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on “the acceptance of transience and imperfection”. It is a way of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature. Kintsugi is a popular Japanese art that embraces the idea of wabi-sabi and repairs broken pottery with gold or silver. It treats the breakage and repair as part of the history of the object, rather than something to disguise.
We have been trained from an early age that society has certain expectations of what is “normal”. We spend a lot of time “disguising” the parts of ourselves that we do not like. We hang out on social media, comparing ourselves to posts others make in their attempt to show off their best selves. We have an idea in our head of what perfection looks like, and many of us may spend a lot of time trying to achieve that unrealistic standard. Fortunately, we live in a world where differences are prevalent and it is up to us to embrace and celebrate these differences. Like Brené Brown says in her quote, we are all in this together!
Today I want to encourage you to embrace all of those perceived imperfections because it is those imperfections that make you who you are. There may be certain traits about yourself that you tend to focus on in a negative way. Perhaps these traits have fueled certain insecurities that have been negatively impacting certain areas of your life, such as with friends or in a romantic relationship. Take some time today to write down what these traits are. Maybe you feel insecure about your smile, maybe it’s the way you laugh, or perhaps it is the shape of your body. Whatever part of yourself you have been hiding, write that down and I encourage you to list at least three positive things about each of these traits that helps change the narrative. By actively changing the way we talk about ourselves, we are taking back our power. We are saying “No” to all of those false messages we receive about what we should look like or how we need to be perceived. We are owning our traits and celebrating the history of who we are, like highlighting those broken pieces with gold and silver.
The truth is, when we spend a lot of time trying to change certain aspects of ourselves, we are presenting a watered-down version of ourselves and denying the opportunity to nourish self-worth and embrace our true selves. If we put a lot of energy into keeping up a façade, we are spending our life acting and that is going to eventually take an emotional and mental toll on us.
It is no wonder that so many of us face an identity-crisis at some point in our lives, asking ourselves “Who are we?”, “What do we even value?”, “What makes me unique?”
When we leave that mask on, when we continue to put up the façade, when we deny our authentic self, we may be left in a state of confusion, plagued with feelings of emptiness, an unsatisfied desire to “fit in”, yet not knowing where we are trying to fit in or who exactly we are wanting to impress. We may even have doubts about who are true friends are or whether our partner even “knows” who we are. We may find ourselves stuck in a job that we hate, or pursuing an education far outside of our personal interests.
By taking the steps towards embracing your imperfections today, you have the power to change the entire direction of your life. You are allowing yourself to step into your authenticity. You are saying “No more!” to the way society attempts to shape and mold you into someone you are not.
If you are struggling with perceived imperfections or feeling confused about your identity, your values, or what you want out of life, perhaps it is time to talk to a therapist. Here at 253 Therapy and Consult we want to help you on your journey towards authenticity, giving you tools to increase your self-worth, and ways that you can learn to truly embrace your imperfections. Don’t hesitate to call us today to schedule a free consultation. As always, we are here for you!