by Natasha N. Allen,
Special to Grouptails.
Recently I went to the St. Louis Art Museum and met a local artist who specializes in abstract oil painting. Artistry, she explained, is a never-ending exploration of the perfect moment combined with the perfect merger of shape and form that speaks to the soul of the viewer in ways that even they cannot clearly explain. While this level of intimate conversation is desirable for the artist to the soul of the viewer, the reality is that an artist never truly knows what will happen with each stroke of their brush. Every artist has a vision of what they would like to see birthed on canvas, the struggle is in finding the perfect arrangement of parts that creates something tangible, something that is so much more than just the sum of its parts. An artist may spend their entire life in search of the perfect image and never get it. She explained the creation of art as feeling almost like Christmas morning. There are times when you got several wonderful gifts, and times when you wound up with a pair of socks in your stocking. “It is perfectly imperfect,” she said, “that makes the work of every artist so magical. What a perfect expression of this journey we call life – perfectly imperfect!
Have you ever toyed with the idea that if you were just a tad-bit different, you would be much more desirable, wealthy, or beautiful/handsome? While this type of internal conversation can initially seem convincing, it’s extremely toxic and ultimately, destructive. What would your life be like if you appreciated all of your imperfections?
Some people can’t live with the slightest imperfection. In fact, many perfectionists try so hard to earn love and acceptance from others by being outstanding, and yet, end up feeling rejected and inadequate. Perfectionism is unproductive and only robs you of life’s pleasures. The problem occurs when one links performance to excessively high standards – standards that are driven by a fear of failure and the need for approval. By all external appearances, perfectionists are impressive and successful, however, internally they’re empty. Yes, there is a price to pay for this toxic behavior, and unfortunately, the price is always much higher than the benefits it might provide. Low self-esteem. Depression. Guilt. Rigidity. Obsessive behavior. Compulsive behavior. Step out of the performance trap and begin to strive for excellence, not perfection. Accept the fact that, as imperfect as you are, you’re really quite perfect! Life is not measured in external validation. The most amazing gift we can give to others and ourselves is to realize that our life, while not perfect, is unique and valuable. Holding to that belief, and living a life of integrity is infinitely more fulfilling than checking off boxes of success and failure. Enough already!
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). The truth is that you are perfectly imperfect.
Natasha N. Allen is founder of One Life Unlimited, a life & career empowerment company.
Visit her site at: http://onelifeunlimited.org