The Myth of Perfection

I am supposed to be out mowing the lawn this morning. I am supposed to pick up the pine cones (a regular springtime activity here) before I mow the lawn. But a day or so ago Flamingo Dancer posted a blog about deceit which has roused my brain, resulting in a blog roiling about and pushing at me to put it down on virtual paper. So that is what I am about to do.

What is it in our souls that creates this need to have a public face of perfection? I suspect it is our society – that society that says women must always be young, slender and beautiful and men must be buff, virile and handsome – although society seems more accepting of men aging than it does women. Our society that says each of us should be super-humans, that we can “do it all”.

The sun rises each day, clouds billow each day

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and the sun sets each day, giving the illusion of perfection in nature.

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But even in nature, there is imperfection, there are parasites that attempt to suck the life out of their hosts, just as we face trials and tribulations that threaten to defeat us.

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When will we learn that our lives are not perfect, and we cannot make them perfect. If those imperfect times did not occur, would we really appreciate the times that near that perfection?

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Why do we feel the need to present ourselves, our homes, our cars, our children as perfect? My children are the light of my life and have been since their births. Are they perfect? No, and they never have been. After all, their parents are imperfect.
We are all frail even in our strengths. We are human. We need to celebrate that humanity!

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My kids, imperfect beings that they are, have struggled at times, have battled their way through their struggles and will battle more I am certain. They have grown up strong, independent and, for the most part I believe, happy. I have been an imperfect mother, an imperfect human, and there are things in my life I wish I had done differently. But would I go back and change them? No! Not at all! Because if I did, I would not be where I am now. I would not be here, trying new things, producing imperfect samples of my attempts.

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I would not be enjoying the whimsical parts of life

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and thrilling at the talents of those that can demonstrate that whimsy, that joy, for the rest of us.

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What I am trying to share here is that perfect or not, life goes on. Recognize that our links to perfection are rusty and tenuous.

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And that it doesn’t matter, really. All we can do is the best we can do and if we are really trying to be the best people we are able to be, if we are loving and giving and doing no harm, that is as close to perfection as possible. Treat others as you wish to be treated – old advice, but true.

Walk away from trying to be a super-human. Let your feet get dirty, your outer covering get messy – just enjoy, laugh, muddle through your imperfect but satisfactory lives as best you can.

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Appreciate that that is enough.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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16 Responses to The Myth of Perfection

  1. suzicate says:

    Beauty and worthiness arise from the ashes of imperfection.

    Like

  2. Trisha says:

    Very insightful post! I see so many people struggling to always present an image of perfection. I would probably be right there with them if I had the energy. The messages that we should be perfect are everywhere.

    Like

  3. Lisa says:

    Really wonderful insight to a problem we all wrestle with daily. I believe we all suffer in the Facebook era of thinking the “perfect” lives people share are the norm. My life is far from perfect. I am far from perfect. My husband and children are far from perfect. Now, my grandbabykins…..that’s a whole ‘nuther story! 🙂 xo

    Like

  4. “We are all frail even in our strengths. We are human. We need to celebrate that humanity!”

    Amen siSTAR! 🙂

    Like

  5. Heather says:

    The struggle to be perfect is so futile, because once you’ve achieved some former version of perfection, a new more-perfect version appears for you to chase. I’m learning to love each moment for what it brings. Even our worst times bring something to be grateful for. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to take my unwashed, unshaven self on a walk in this sunshine 😀

    Like

  6. Karma says:

    Oh, Carol, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. Beautiful post. Thank you.

    Like

  7. jay53 says:

    Great post, Carol! So, so true. We try so hard to present a ‘perfect’ face to the world, don’t we? And in so doing, we overload ourselves with stress and unhappiness. We should all stop, right now.

    Like

  8. Robin says:

    Beautiful, insightful post, Carol. Thank you. I have this urge to go out and get muddy now. Without worrying about it. 😀

    Like

  9. Kathy says:

    Great post. I often use the phrase “perfectly imperfect”. It reminds me that imperfection is just part of the perfection of it all.

    Like

  10. Pingback: In Want of Whimsy | Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

  11. flandrumhill says:

    Carol, I think laughter is the key to turning our quest for perfection on its head. Especially if we can laugh at ourselves, we can be loving and forgiving towards our human imperfections as we strive towards our ideals. Beautiful photos.

    Like

  12. I love this post so much, Carol. I get so depressed sometimes looking at Facebook and other social media and feeling like everyone else has the perfect life. I have to remind myself that people often present this image of perfection and it’s not the whole truth. Maybe for a few it is close, but nothing can ever really be perfect. I love your honesty and your humility. Thanks for sharing this. And I love your blown glass creation ~ it looks “perfect” to me!

    Like

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