There is no shame in being imperfect.
Illogical, impetuous, emotional, needy. All humans are all of these at some point. Some more than others, some more frequently than others.
A lot of it is dependent upon our genetic inheritances and predispositions.
A certain amount of it is the result of trauma and other life events that have happened to us.
Some of it has to do with the general environments in which we were raised, and the environments in which we exist right now.
But the fact is: we humans are, often, very much messes.
We may think there are some humans who are exceptions to this. We see beautiful, witty celebrities who always seem to look great and say the right thing. We see politicians and leaders who are passionate and eloquent. We go to movies and watch TV shows where people make the right decisions at the right times— or, if they make the wrong decisions, things still play out in entertaining ways that wrap up within an hour or two.
Then we compare ourselves to those models, and…we’re forced to acknowledge that we are just messes.
The thing is, those characters— including the celebrities and the politicians— aren’t real.
EVERY human being is imperfect.
Moreover, we cannot do anything to make ourselves perfect. Just can’t be done. If perfection is your goal, I strongly recommend you abandon it right now.
We don’t have the option to make ourselves perfect.
All we can do is decide how we’re going to deal with being imperfect.
We can decide how to respond to the FACT that we are all imperfect.
Do we decide that the reality of imperfection means we can’t do anything?
Does it mean we can’t try anything?
Does it mean we give up?
Or does it mean that we commit, every single day, to dealing with this fact with realism, honesty, and humor?
A lot of people say, for example, they’re “terrible at relationships.”
Welcome to humanity, many of us are terrible at relationships. The fact that we can’t read each others’ minds and perfectly predict and fill each others’ needs makes most of us humans more or less terrible at relationships, at least some of the time.
Some people then decide that the fact that they’re “terrible at relationships” means they shouldn’t even try to have relationships.
Take it from me: if you’ve made up your mind to simply “opt out” of having relationships, you’re going to be wrestling with much of your instinctive programming as a human. Like it or not, we’re wired to have relationships of varying levels of intimacy. Like most human traits, the pull toward relationships exists on a spectrum, with some humans craving intimacy more than others, but it is the very rare human who truly, voluntarily wants little to no connections with other humans.
The fact that relationships can hurt, the fact that we sometimes don’t do them well, the fact that sometimes they’re inconvenient and maddening and exhausting…that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
But, that’s the choice with which we’re presented: is the fact that we can’t get it right every time— the fact that we’re almost certain to get it WRONG a lot of the time— reason to attempt to opt out?
How are we going to respond to the fact that perfection is an impossibility?
To continue to strive for perfection, as a human, means you’ve chosen to respond to the FACT of human imperfection with one of the least effective and most damaging coping skills possible: denial.
In addition to almost never solving the problem, denial often creates bigger and more destructive problems.
Your choice, as a human, isn’t between perfection and imperfection.
Nor is it between constantly winning and sometimes losing. You’re going to do both.
The choice you have is in how you handle the FACT of human frailty.
So…how are you going to handle it?
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