It’s been a while since I’ve actually used writing to express myself. I guess the last few months, when apparently my perfect image cracked and I was confronted with accepting and loving an imperfect self, made me do it again. Expressing is good, and guess what?, it will always be imperfect. Expect others to judge it! But every each of us should do it. I am the silent type. I do not counter fight, I do not defend myself, I do not speak, I don’t complain… I listen, internalize, sometimes grieve, feel guilty, apologize the most and find my strength to move on and live life. I am actually bad at talking about what I feel. But, in time, I understood this eats me up inside, it pills up, all the unsaid… and writing, well, in my case, apparently helps. And… I have to admit it feels good. So bare with me, if I spam your News feed. I have no intention of using imperfection to avoid owning mistakes in general. That would be against what I am trying to write. I may not be the perfect writer, but that’s not the point. The point is to express what I feel and think, as imperfect as it is, and maybe grow in the process, while, if I am lucky enough, inspire others to do the same and not be afraid to show to the world their beautiful imperfect selves.
What I’ve learned lately is how to value the authenticity and beauty of imperfection. I don’t pretend to know it all, neither am I a model of living to follow, but what I know for sure is the importance of owning who you really are, with the good and the not so good, the highs and the lows, the strengths and the weaknesses. I’ve done right and I’ve done wrong, I’ve made people happy and helped them, and I’ve hurt some deeply in the process, I was a reason to smile, and a reason for tears. Complex, right? But this is what each of us does in a lifetime, every each of us, whether you like it or not. Think about it… This is actually how we grow and we never stop learning and growing over the years. But more importantly, the fact that we are so damn imperfect makes us unique. This is why in order to evolve happily and live beautifully (as I like to say), we need to own it, take responsibility for what we do, learn from it, understand who we are, accept it and cherish life in the process.
I recently started reading a great book I received from a dear friend – “The courage of being vulnerable” by Brene Brown. It really inspires me… with every page I read. Because, yes, it takes balls for a man and lots of guts for a woman to show their vulnerabilities to the world. It is so damn courageous to do so, to stand naked in front of everyone with all you are and feel, and own it. I have lived most of my life avoiding being vulnerable. Though it is so natural, so human, so part of who we are. I have built walls around me not to get hurt, keeping a calculated distance from falling too deeply in love, maintaining control, acting flawless in school or at work, showing strength no matter the situation, and actually even being proud of my no-tear shed for anyone track record in my personal life. But this me, without vulnerabilities… wasn’t really me. This was ultimately pretending, a mask, hiding a more sensitive self. And I have missed a lot pretending… feelings, personal inner development, the beauty of loving with all your heart, the growth and motivation that pain and sorrow can arise from oneself.
When we act bullet proof strong, cold, in-control, we actually put a shield around us and pretend. It’s valid for everyone, and we all are all doing it at some point in time in a situation or another. It’s that pressure of being unbreakable and perfect… In the end, if you think about it, who defines perfection? Social media, friends, family, your network, media in general? Probably other people that pretend to be untouchable, so it’s all a perception in the end. Nothing real. What is real is YOU. The real YOU. Late at night, when you close the door, and there is just you, your thoughts and nothing else, does that uber-strength still apply? Does it really? And then I ask, who are we really? Who is the real YOU? It’s beautifully imperfect the vulnerable way we are. The best feeling is to embrace it, accept it and love ourselves for it. Because it’s real. It’s like living in the NOW. I would actually put vulnerability, together with imperfection, genuine love for oneself and others, and living in the present, as pre-requisites for living beautifully, peacefully and in content with us and the world.
To end this small monologue, I read about this 10 principles of living life to the fullest by Brene Brown in another book, and I thought they are worth sharing. I plan to follow them as much as I can. It may not be easy, but my newly discovered imperfection calls for it :).
- Develop your authenticity – don’t always think of what others say
- Develop your self compassion – give up perfectionism
- Develop your resilience – fight against feelings of being hopeless and incapable
- Develop gratitude and happiness – fight your fears and stop thinking of what is missing from your life
- Develop your intuition, your self confidence and confidence in others – give up the need for security
- Develop your creativity – stop comparing yourself with others
- Invest more time in playing and resting – results at work do not always define who you ultimately are
- Develop a state of peace and silence – give up anxiety
- Invest your time in what makes sense to you, don’t question yourself and don’t live by the expectations of others of you
- Don’t forget to laugh, to sing and to dance – stop pretending that you control every situation, it’s pointless