‘Embracing Imperfection’

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5th Jan 2024

 In our fast-paced, digitally-obsessed world, we often find ourselves chasing unattainable ideals of beauty, success, and happiness.

We’re bombarded with images of intelligent investors, flawless celebrities, airbrushed models, and curated Instagram feeds.

But let me tell you, real life is not filtered, edited, or photoshopped. Real life is beautifully messy and wonderfully imperfect.

I have learned that embracing our imperfections requires courage and the willingness to confront our vulnerabilities. It’s through these challenges that we develop resilience and discover our inner strength.

‘Kintsugi,’ an ancient Japanese practice that beautifies broken pottery, celebrates imperfection, transience, and the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Kintsugi means, literally, ‘to join with gold.’

In Zen aesthetics, the broken pieces of a ceramic pot should be carefully picked up, reassembled, and then glued together with lacquer inflected with gold powder.

The Japanese believe the golden cracks make the pieces even more valuable. It embraces the breakage as part of the object’s history, instead of something to be hidden or thrown away.

It is beautiful to think of kintsugi as a metaphor for life and to see the difficult, broken, or painful parts of you as radiating light, gold, and beauty.

It teaches that your broken places make you stronger and better than ever before. They make you antifragile. This is the opposite of what we are taught throughout life – that we are supposed to be perfect, and that we must hide any imperfections.

Kintsugi is the perfect metaphor for how we can find healing in our life that sometimes not only gets

cracked but broken apart.

It teaches us to appreciate the cracks in the pottery, the wrinkles on our faces, and the impermanence of all things. It reminds us that life’s beauty lies in its imperfections.

Embracing imperfection not only improves our relationship with ourselves but also with others.

You learn to accept people as they are, flaws and all, and in turn, they accept you in your imperfect glory. This enriches our lives with meaningful connections and deeper, more genuine relationships.

Furthermore, you shall appreciate the imperfections in the relationships and the world around you. The wrinkles on the faces of elders in the family, the disorganized desk, the physical flaws, introversion, weathered pages of books, a few eccentric habits – these and other such imperfections in life hold a unique charm that can’t be replicated in perfection.

Embracing imperfection doesn’t mean settling for mediocrity or complacency. It means striving for excellence while acknowledging that mistakes and setbacks are a natural part of the journey.

It means being kinder to yourself and practicing self-compassion. It means understanding that perfection is an illusion, and the pursuit of it can be a never-ending, exhausting endeavor.

Research has shown that embracing our imperfections, being vulnerable, and allowing ourselves to be seen as “flawed and imperfect” are key factors in building genuine connections and finding true happiness.

So, as we stand here at the threshold of another wonderful year, let’s embrace our imperfections with open arms.

I wear my scars, both physical and emotional, as badges of honor, reminders of the battles I’ve fought and the lessons I’ve learned. I celebrate the wrinkles that trace the map of my life’s journey and the grey hairs that whisper stories of wisdom.

I hope that you, too, will embrace imperfection in your own life. Embrace the messiness of existence, the unpredictability of the future, and the uniqueness of your path.

Remember that it’s okay to stumble, to fall, and to rise again. In our imperfections, we find our humanity, and in embracing them, we find our truest selves.

So, here’s to a wonderful life – imperfect, beautiful, and uniquely mine. And here’s to the countless lessons, both big and small, that have shaped me into the person I am today.

May we all continue to learn, grow, and celebrate the imperfect masterpiece that is life itself & stay blessed forever