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Imperfection Is Lovable: Let Yourself Be

Imperfect

“You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~Brene Brown

We are all perfectly imperfect just as we are.

Yes, it’s true. Sometimes hard to believe, but always the truth. Believe me.

I’ve always recognized that I am a perfectionist.

I was the little girl who wanted to know how to play the piano at my first lesson, how to roller blade the first time I tried, how to do the splits at my first gymnastics class.

I’ve always wanted to do it right the first time.

On the one hand, I appreciate my intention to do and be my best at whatever I do, but on the other hand, I see how this mentality has often paralyzed my efforts and prevented me from daring and learning to be brilliant.

The one practice I’ve committed to in my life, where I’ve been willing to be less than perfect, and continue to embrace each day, is yoga.

The meditative quality, the healing breath, the invigorating movement all resonate with me and remind me to just be where and who I am, in each moment.

It’s been fifteen years now since I began my yoga practice in an effort to release the tension in my neck that was triggering chronic headaches during my first year studying at UCLA.

I felt transformed after my very first yoga class and just knew that I would grow and expand with my practice. 

In the beginning, most of my transformation was physical—feeling more relaxed, open, energized, and flexible. In recent years, my practice has guided me to expand my perspective, and I find myself open to understanding life anew.

I’m discovering new ways of being and of seeing the world.

Just two months ago I had a revelation.

I was communicating with a life coach who is an incredible listener, endeavoring to understand why I was constantly feeling challenged in my relationship with my husband. Together, we realized that I was creating the same expectations of perfection for him as I had carried for myself since childhood.

A memory surfaced: me, around twelve years old, sharing my report card with my father.

“Why are they not all As?” he questioned unapologetically.

I glanced at my grades, noticing that I’d earned six As and one B+, and said, “I did my best.”

“I expect all As next time,” he firmly instructed.

“I’ll do better,” I submissively acquiesced.

And this stuck. The need to do better than my best. The desire to be better than myself. I wanted my father’s approval. I wanted my father’s love. I wanted my father’s attention. And so, I worked even harder and earned a 4.0 GPA each semester.

But you know what? It was never enough.

I never felt enough. I never could earn the love and attention that I desperately craved from him. 

I needed to look within myself.

Now, some twenty years later, I’m still struggling with my tendency toward perfectionism.

This insight is life changing: A chance to understand myself better. A reflection of how and why I choose to think and act the way I do. An opportunity to acknowledge that I’ve associated being perfect with being lovable.

Now, without judgment or criticism for myself or my father, I have the choice to change.

I can choose to shift my perspective and tell a new story. I choose to embrace a new truth…

Imperfection is lovable.

With this knowledge, I see my relationship with myself and with my husband, my children, my family, my friends—with life itself—in a new light.

We are perfecting.

And who wants to be perfect anyway? How boring that would be!

The most fun is in the growing, in the expansion, in the learning and becoming ever more who we are.

I release the compulsion to be perfect, to constantly achieve, do more, handle every task on my to do list immediately.

I allow myself to be more present, to be in the moment, to remember what matters most: love.

I can let go of always doing and instead let myself be. I can stop rushing around handling tasks, and allow myself to stop and smell the roses with my daughters, kiss my husband, call a friend, stare in wonder at the beauty of our universe.

I am worthy of love, I know I belong, I recognize my life has meaning, and I give myself permission to take it easy and just be me.

I embrace this truth:

I am good enough. I do enough. I have enough. I work enough. I love enough. I am beautiful enough. I am smart enough.

I am enough.

Can you say this to yourself and really mean it? Practice. Notice how it feels.

With this new perspective, everything blossoms.

I allow myself to make mistakes without being judgmental.

I give others space to be imperfect without being critical.

I allow myself to be me.

I allow myself to love me just as I am.

I allow myself to love others just as they are.

Whenever I begin to lose focus of this reassuring truth, when I start to feel overwhelmed by all the “shoulds” and judgments in my mind, I sit in stillness in my meditation space.

I read the words I’ve etched on my chalkboard wall:

I am enough. Surrender. Live and Let Live. Imperfection is lovable. Be human.

Immersed in the sensation of my breath, I choose to focus my mind on these powerful truths. Soon, I relax into the comfort of knowing that all is well. And I begin again the journey of self-love and acceptance.

I am grateful for being where I am, for all the wisdom and love so many gracious and kind people have shared, and for the powerful practice of yoga that encourages self-awareness and growth.

I am grateful for the opportunity to recognize the perfection in our imperfection and to use this wisdom to infinitely improve my interactions with the people I love the most.

Our minds are powerful. Our thoughts are powerful. Our love is powerful.

Let us choose to focus on the good, appreciate who we are, share our love unconditionally.

Let us remember that we are enough.

Let us embrace our value and know we belong.

Let us always remember that our imperfections are lovable.

Can you practice loving yourself and others unconditionally today?

Every beautiful journey and inspiring transformation begins with an intention and moving in the direction of where you hope to be.

Wishing you ease in loving and freedom to be just who you are.

Be human. Be perfectly imperfect. Be you. Just be.

Photo by Bùi Linh Ngân

Avatar of Denise Dare

About Denise Dare

Denise Dare is a Happiness Artist + Love Activist + Soulful Life Educator dedicated to helping daring dreamers radically transform their lives from the inside out. Denise inspires us to move forward with clarity, courage, and confidence, so we feel free to shine and enjoy every step of the journey. Visit Denise and join the Happiness Revolution at: http://denisedare.com.

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  • http://brajadulal.blogspot.in/ Braja Patnaik

    The only person who can to give me permission to be imperfectly perfect is myself. Be easy on yourself – A very nice thought. Thanks.

  • Divesh

    Thanks for such a beautiful post. I loved the part about “And who wants to be perfect anyway? How boring that would be!” – Never before has a message of few words meant so much to me.

  • foxboy11

    I loved this post, but I struggle with not getting what I want being as I am. It is hard to accept imperfections when all your life you’ve noticed that you had trouble making friends and being social when you are “yourself” around them (and you have a strong need for human interaction). You learn to change or behave differently to be more accepted. I hate it, and it is such a burden, but its so difficult to change oneself when the results of conforming to others have had mediocre (and not poor) results. At the same time when you are not happy with acting, you ultimately feel unfulfilled. I will be working hard, everyday, to accept myself as I am,

  • Somebody

    I actually have a hard time to say “I am enough.”. Well…I guess there`s something wrong with me going on. Maybe I am a perfectionist, although I`ve never accepted I am one.

  • Carolyn

    This resonates with me so very much! I, too, grew up in a critical home. I know my parents were just trying to help me achieve, but in the end it turned me into a people-pleaser who didn’t know how to just be myself, or let myself BE instead of DOING all the time, always trying to be or do something to gain approval from outside myself. Only now, in my 50s (!), am I beginning to understand how toxic this way of life is. I ache when I think that I may have perpetuated it with my own children.

  • Kevin Cole

    Being okay with being imperfect was one of the most life-changing events I’ve ever experienced. I read the advice in a book one year ago and I remember thinking how simple and obvious it was. I’m still game to achieve and succeed. But acceptance has to come first or your going to be in a world of discontent no matter what you accomplish.

    Excellent post.

  • Debbie

    You are right. We all are enough as long as we keep learning and growning. I am sorry for what your father did. With my kids all I ever told them is “do your best” Some people are good in one subject in school and other are good in another.
    We are all special because we are who we are.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Just A. Guy

    It is so easy to get trapped in that pursuit of perfection, but your title says it all: it is our imperfections that make us lovable. Could you actually love someone who was perfect? Would you be able to relate to them in any way? Probably not! I sure couldn’t.

  • http://www.the-cupoflife.com/ The Cup Of Life

    I absolutely agree :)
    Sometimes we really just don’t realize that is imperfection that brings about the happiest things in our lives.

  • lv2terp

    Fantastic affirmations! :) Thank you for sharing your journey, this is a beautiful and inspiring post!!!! :)

  • http://www.pinchmeliving.com/ Bernadette @ PinchMeLiving.com

    As a reformed perfectionist, I always remember what a friend once said to me. It was something like “Attempting to be perfect in an imperfect world is impossible. There is nothing wrong with having high standards and enjoying creating excellence in what you do, just don’t confuse that with impossible perfectionism” Bernadette :)

  • bigloveslife

    Oh wow this post echoes my journey in this life, and my decade long journey of being a “recovering perfectionist”. Your affirmation is beautiful and im stealing it!!! I now practice smiling at my thoughts of unworthiness knowing that I can stand back in my minds eye and see the bigger picture- i am more than my achievements and learn to relax and allow- my life’S lesson for sure :)

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you so much for your reply! I totally agree…how could we possibly relate to someone who is perfect? So grateful to be HUMAN. :)

    Happy 4th & Happy Life to YOU!

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you for sharing!

    Love your words: “…imperfection…brings about the happiest things in our lives.”

    Happy LIFE to YOU! :)

  • Denise Dare

    Yay! I’m so happy you’re feeling free to be Y.O.U., Kevin!

    I totally agree that accepting where we are on the journey is a beautiful practice to actually BE happy while we achieve and succeed.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience…wishing you all the best! :)

  • Denise Dare

    “Recovering perfectionist” is just perfect. :)

    So grateful to know that my words resonate with you!

    I agree that learning to relax and ALLOW is one of the greatest lessons we can learn in this beautiful life.

    Thank you for being here…and thank you so much for your comment.

    Wishing you PEACE & so much happiness!

  • Denise Dare

    Wow, Bernadette, thank you for sharing these wise words from your friend!

    I absolutely agree that “Attempting to be perfect in an imperfect world is impossible.”

    Doesn’t it feel good to allow ourselves to be human?

    Hoping you’re feelin’ happy & free! :)

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you so much for your comment!

    I am humbled and grateful to know that my words resonate with you. :)

    Happy day & happy LIFE to YOU!

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you so much, Debbie, for your words.

    I appreciate your encouragement to “do your best” as this is what my mama has always affirmed to me. :)

    And, yes, I agree that “We are all special because we are who we are.” It feels really good to be in a place of embracing this truth more and more…

    Peace, Love & Happiness to YOU!

  • Denise Dare

    Oh, Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    I completely understand that ache over thinking we may perpetuate some aspect of our own experience with our children. I feel it too.

    I remind my own daughters that even though I’d like to give them only the good parts of myself, they’re getting it all!

    So, I endeavor to continue to be aware and do my best to love each of them unconditionally (and to love myself, too!).

    We make mistakes. We are human.

    Learning to love and forgive ourselves is a transformative part of our journey…one I’m still practicing day by day!

    Hoping you continue to love yourself and your family with an open heart, knowing that we are all just doing our best. :)

    Happy day to YOU, Carolyn!

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you for sharing your words.

    I totally understand the challenge to honestly express “I am enough.” It’s taken years for me to feel authentic in doing so…and there are still many times when it feels incredibly hard for me.

    On those days when I’m feeling low, I do my best to be gentle with myself, to let go of the story that I should be anything other than who I am.

    Hoping you’re feeling free to be Y.O.U.

    Peace, Love & Happy Days! :)

  • Denise Dare

    So happy you’re here…and thank you for sharing your experience. :)

    I hope that friendship and connection unfolds with more ease in your life as you surrender the struggle and embrace (and LOVE) yourself more with each passing day.

    Wishing you peace, love & abundant JOY just as you are!

    Happy life to YOU!

  • Denise Dare

    Oh, thank you for your kind words! :)

    I’m touched and so grateful. Thank you for sharing and letting me know that my words resonate with you!

    Hoping you’re feeling happy today!

    Peace & Love to YOU.

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you for being here and for your kind comment.

    So happy my words resonate with you. :)

    Wishing you a peaceful day…and loads of love!

  • AntKristi

    I’m a recovering perfectionist myself, just now starting on the road to try and de-perfectionize! Trying to be perfect at everything I’ve ever done has led to a lot of disappointing moments, stomach ulcers, and eventually, self-realization. Thank you for this post.

  • http://www.pinchmeliving.com/ Bernadette @ PinchMeLiving.com

    Too true, allowing ourselves to be human, instead of trying to be perfect. What human in the history of planet earth could be deemed to have been perfect. No one! Ahhh… free and happy alright! Blessings to you. B :)

  • Philosopher

    This is SO true! I once wrote a poem on how perfection is virtual and how it doesn’t exist, but still at times its so hard to make oneself understand that perfection doesn’t exist. Its the imperfections in us that make us unique. Life wouldn’t be so colorful if everyone was perfect…

  • Denise Dare

    Love it: “de-perfectionize” it is. :)

    Happy to hear you are on your way to LOVING you just the way you are…and healing your physical body as you ease your mind.

    Thank you for reading & for sharing!

    Peace & Happiness to YOU.

  • Denise Dare

    What an interesting insight that “perfection is virtual and…doesn’t exist.”

    Feeling so grateful for our colorful world and lives!

    Thank you for being here, for sharing…and for being y.o.u. ;)

  • Kacey

    This is perfect. Just what I needed to read today. Thank you!

  • Denise Dare

    Yay!

    I’m so happy & grateful to hear that these words inspired you, Kacey!

    Much Love,

    Denise :)

  • Elle

    Thanks so much for sharing. Your story is so familiar to me, Denise–eerily familiar, actually. I have a pretty vivid memory myself, around age 12, of a conversation with my father about my budding violin studies. I was already an achiever (means) to gain acceptance/affection (end), fishing for approval; to which he responded, and I remember it clear as day: “Well…There’s always someone else out there who’s better.” The subtext did not escape even preadolescent me: “This is ‘good,’ I guess, but you could always do better.”

    Reading your article–dripping with wonderful wisdom, by the way!–caused me to really ask myself just why this memory is so vivid to me even now. I always understood it was suggestive of attitudes that had shaped my life, but not until your piece did I realize just how those very words embody the awful self-deprecating ideas that really deteriorate the quality of my life and self-image. Thank you for granting me this incredible insight. Thank you; thank you; thank you!

  • Denise Dare

    Wow. Elle, thank YOU.

    I am so grateful that my words, experience and commitment to growth are inspiring you to make a positive difference in your life.

    Happiness really blooms when we clearly see the power we have to choose our thoughts, our responses and our perspective.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for reminding me that sharing mine really is doing good. :)

    Peace & So Much Love,

    Denise

  • Philosopher

    Hey Denis, I would love it if you’d read my blog too and comment on it…this is my blog address, http://mariam03rehman.wordpress.com/

  • Denise Dare

    Thank you for sharing your site…lovely poetry.

    I especially like “Light.”

    Inspired and grateful. :)

    Love & Light to YOU!