Recently, one of my clients was processing a relationship with someone in her life. As she and I spoke, she told me how perfect this person was and proceeded to list all his amazing attributes. As my client continued to share, there was an AHA moment. You know, she said, he wasn’t actually perfect, but I saw perfection despite the flaws. Perhaps as a child I saw perfection, she admitted, but as an adult I realized that he wasn’t perfect but loved him anyway.
This brought me to moments with my own relationships, especially my children. As parents, there is a tendency to want to see the “perfect” in our kids. Part of this is our desire to protect our kids. Another is the profound love we have for them. At some point, however, I think we realize that it is a perfection that includes flaws. In fact, isn’t it the flaws that make us perfectly human?
When we share imperfection, we normalize being human.
When we accept one another regardless of our flaws, mistakes, choices and more, we teach acceptance. In fact, I would suggest that if we could share our imperfection a little more, we would be more vulnerable, take more chances and in general, participate in life even more. When we let others share imperfection, they experience love and respect. I don’t know about you, but love with conditions doesn’t seem to serve anyone. I know that it has not served me.
There are many things we can do to move towards sharing imperfection. I want to share my top four with you:
- Recognize that we all have flaws. If you get tempted to cast a stone, remember to look in the mirror first.
- Recognize judgment. The minute you notice judging going on, switch it to curiosity. Get curious about what is happening. What would be possible by opening up the conversation?
- Recognize that the person is not the behavior. There are behaviors in all of us that we may not like but we can still love the person. Focus on all the things you love about that person.
- Notice where you are with your acceptance of self and how this is connecting to your acceptance of others.
I hope these tips have been useful to you. I want to remind you that you are perfect because of your flaws not imperfect due to the flaws. Let’s normalize sharing imperfection. Let’s normalize sharing love and respect. Let’s normalize acceptance.
Blessings, Peace and JOY—