I’m not perfect, but oh boy, I often wonder what my life would be like if I was; if I made all the right decisions without mistakes or failures, if I had the perfect figure, hair, skin, voice, teeth or whatever.
Would I be successful and have all that I want in life? Would it be satisfying and fulfilling, would I feel passionate about my course in life? I don’t know the answers to these questions because I’m far from perfect, but I do know it’s important to accept my flaws and share them rather than try to make myself appear to be someone I think others want to see or know.
If I were perfect I would have figured out before the age of 53 how to put a paper butt gasket toilet seat cover on a public toilet. I recently realized I had been putting it on wrong all this time. You would think I would have suspected something was up because as I put it on the seat I would always think to myself ‘why didn’t they design this so it fit the seat?’ Guess what? They did! I was simply oblivious to the fact that I had been putting it on backwards, so one day I turned it around and then like magic it fit perfectly. I had to laugh when I discovered this because I generally credit myself with being pretty intelligent.
If I were perfect I would throw away my 10X magnifying mirror and have confidence that I look great without having to analyze every pore on my face. I originally purchased the mirror so I could do a better job at plucking my eyebrows but quickly discovered I could see everything on my face so much sharper and bigger including the puffy luggage under my eyes. Without the mirror, using just a standard non-magnified mirror, I have a kind of fuzzy air-brushed look but that could just be because I’m not wearing my glasses. No one is ever going to be looking at my face mere inches away or notice things I see and yet that is the level of perfection I strive for. I would save so much time getting ready for my day without it and feel so much better about my appearance because I wouldn’t have noticed all my perceived imperfections.
If I were perfect I certainly wouldn’t make the decision to eat an entire large box of Panda black licorice by myself over a period of an hour. I wouldn’t then have a face full of big zits and then suffer for days with body aches and pains, headache and a general feeling of malaise. Maybe I was just trying to confirm that it truly is sugar and wheat causing my breakouts. But that’s just an excuse because I already know this as I received the message, AGAIN, loud and clear. If I were perfect I would never crave something sweet that’s loaded with sugar like ice cream, cookies and especially my favorite black licorice. I would know not to subject myself to this punishment, always doing what is best for my health and my body. I do know eating sugar is bad for me and 99% of the time I’m able to resist but sometimes, for whatever reason I succumb to my craving and buy that licorice. The smart thing would be to buy the small bar, maybe next time.
If I were perfect I would never become anxious and nervous when meeting new people. I wouldn’t stumble all over my words, thinking the whole time that I sounded like an idiot, or my clothes were not in fashion, or they were thinking my hair is weird. I wouldn’t worry that they might think I’m inferior to them, I would be confident in myself, knowing I have something worthwhile to say and offer. I would be completely comfortable in social situations with strangers and always know just the right things to talk about, I would be able to converse fluidly and confidently with anyone. There would be no blank space in my head wondering what the hell to say or ask next.
If I were perfect I would have a figure that I love and makes me feel sexy; not small breasts, the hips of a boy and the flat non-butt that seems to be a genetic trait in my family. When I was 12 I was told by a boy I had a crush on that I was a ‘carpenter’s dream’, meaning I was flat as a board, I was devastated and this has stuck with me my entire life. I would be able to sport a bathing suit with ease without remembering that boy and worrying about my breast size or that my stretch marks are showing or my cheeks are hanging out the bottom of the suit. But since I don’t have all those perfect body parts I should feel good about the body that I live in and simply love it and accept it because it has given me a pretty good life so far.
If I were perfect I would not sit reading a thriller novel for hours while I should be doing something constructive like marketing my business to gain new clients, cooking delicious and nutritious meals or cleaning the house, doing the dreaded dusting and vacuuming up drifts of pet hair. I would not look for ways to avoid doing the things I really know should be done. I would just do them, knowing they are going to make me feel better about myself and give me a sense of accomplishment instead of causing me regret and anxiety when avoiding the important things.
When my children were younger they often accused me of being perfect, meaning it as an insult, not a compliment. Proof that being perfect is not often viewed as a desirable quality. So then, do we really, truly want to be perfect? Does that make us more likeable, approachable, friendlier, happier or smarter? Will we be more successful, earn more money, have a nicer house, have more friends? I feel that our flaws are what make us human and real, someone others can relate to, laugh with and feel comfortable with. By accepting our imperfections and allowing ourselves to be truly seen by others we become more relaxed and comfortable with ourselves and our lives, making life easier overall.
The point is nobody sees us or thinks about us the way we think about ourselves. Our flaws are our own and nobody else notices them. I was recently told by a new acquaintance that I was gorgeous and you could have knocked me over with a feather. She said “You know you’re gorgeous right, I mean you do know that?” My thoughts were ‘Are you kidding? You must be blind, can’t you see everything that’s wrong with me? You have no idea what you’re talking about.’ I thanked her graciously because I was taught to accept a compliment but obviously she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.
When we do something we feel is an embarrassment, failure or mistake, something that is not the best for our lives, health and body; we have an opportunity to choose differently next time. There’s no sense in punishing yourself for your decision because you will always have an opportunity to choose better next time. Sometimes the mistake or failure benefits us by teaching us a valuable lesson like checking for pieces of toilet seat covers stuck to your butt before subjecting yourself to a full body, naked skin check by the dermatologist. Yes, this happened to me and when I discovered it I laughed so hard I almost peed myself, then I went out and shared the story so others could have a good laugh, too.
What we really need to understand is that everyone has their insecurities and faults, the things they want to hide from others. Often, we look at others and think their lives must be perfect but I will guarantee you they would disagree with you because their flaws and mistakes are not always apparent to us and they aren’t sharing them. I know I feel intimidated by people I perceive as perfect, I feel less than, uncomfortable and somehow inferior. This should be the deciding factor, this realization should make us all want to be more open to sharing our true selves.
Deep down we just want people to like us for exactly who we are but we’re afraid to reveal that person because we might get hurt. Fear of pain is a big motivator for most people, including me; whether it’s rejection, indifference or avoidance; we simply don’t want to experience it. So we continue to hide our flaws all the while denying those things that make us the most real and approachable.
We should all strive to be perfectly imperfect, perfectly real, perfectly ourselves and then we will have a real chance at discovering perfect happiness.