A futile pursuit of perfection is the trap I so often fall into. Over and over. At work and in my personal life, I set up high expectations and then get discouraged when I find myself struggling to live up to them. Of course, I should be able to work full-time, get As in my classes, have a great marriage, transform my self-care habits and establish a regular writing practice all at the same time. No problem, right? Instead it is difficult to find time for all my homework, writing as often as I want to, keeping up my self-care goals and my marriage. Being frazzled is a constant theme. Of all the things I desire, as I’m coming in for the final approach to my 4oth birthday, getting off this frantic, chronic-busyness ride is the main one!

I love world views that honor the spiritual quality of imperfection. I need that message and drink it thirstily when I find it. My first introduction to a reverence of imperfection was hearing about a Native American practice of purposely weaving an imperfection into their baskets. It caused my brain to come to a standstill as I pondered this idea. What? Being imperfect is good? It is to be honored? More recently I was fascinated to discover the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi. I need to hear these types of messages over and over to combat my perfection programming. It runs so deep. Doing a bit of web surfing I found philosophy professor, Kieran Setiya’s Ideas of Imperfection blog. I got a good chuckle out of his post on anxiety.

I am aware all the time that that I am falling short of my intended perfection. This desired state of perfection is a delusion. It is in imperfection that authenticity and the uniqueness of life is found. If I choose imperfection, I can let go of the relentless treadmill that ultimately cheats me of the moments that matter most.

6 thoughts on “Choosing Imperfection

  1. Can anxiety be inherited?

  2. I think anxiety can be inherited. It’s a personality trait.

    Pam, trying pursuing excellence instead of perfection in the areas life most important to you.

    This goal had freed me time and time again to concentrate and excel in the areas most important to me.

  3. Good question, Mom 🙂 I’m always interested in the interplay between biology and environment. Also, how much can we retrain ourselves after we our habitual patterns have run deep grooves in our brains!

    You’re right, Marylin. Making the distinction between perfection and excellence is helpful! I’m also trying to shift the way I measure my life away from achievement.

  4. How do you plan to celebrate your birthday, Pam? Ten days and counting as of tomorrow!

  5. I also have the same problem about expectations. We know our capacity in doing work, but their are times when we fail to reach what we expected. It’s important that we consider things that will probably affect our work.

  6. It’s normal for us to pursue something, but we must be aware of our capacity inorder to avoid diappointment. No matter how we believe that we can do something. We still need to consider certain situations that might affect our performance.

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