We may not be able to admit to ourselves, but we constantly seek perfection. We tell ourselves we don’t expect it, don’t want it, and understand we are imperfect, but then get upset when perfect expectations are not met in ourselves and others. We torture ourselves with: What if there’s someone better right around the corner? Am I pretty enough? Am I thin enough? Am I rich enough? Am I successful enough? Am I smart enough? Am I good enough? Am I deserving and worthy? Are they?
Perfection is an illusion. How we value and cherish something is all up to us and what we choose to see in either the object, person, or situation. It took me a long time to really appreciate the imperfections in this world – the misfit, the outcast, the odd, the strange, the bazaar, the weird, and the truly beautiful. I couldn’t see the beauty in others, the true beauty of heart and soul, until I first learned to see it in myself. Until I could accept my scars and imperfections, I couldn’t accept them in others. How I judge others reflects how I judge myself. I came to understand that I would never be good enough for anyone until I was good enough for me. I may never live up to someone else’s idea of perfection – perhaps my body isn’t what they want, or my ideas are contrary to their own, or my dreams and aspirations are different. It doesn’t matter if I fulfill their perfect expectations or not – because if I don’t – it’s their loss, not mine.
I see beauty all around me. I see it in the curve of smiling lips, a set of eyes, in a pair of beautiful hands. I see it in a touch, a smile, a joke, a word of encouragement, a sigh, a laugh, a silly snort. I watched a man play a video game last weekend and couldn’t stop smiling. It was a simple act, yet one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Not because he was handsome. What made him beautiful had nothing to do with how he looked. I’m sure he thinks when I call him beautiful I’m referring to his looks, but I’m not. It’s the man I see looking out through his eyes, the one that uses his fingertips to explore his world, the one that makes the edge of his lips slightly turn up when I’ve done something that pleases him or makes him shake his head. It was glorious to just simply watch him enjoy himself, letting go of any and all expectations, and living in the moment being free. I could have watched him all day. The world was perfect in that moment. He was perfect in all his imperfections. The way he watches everything around him and sees the world – blows me away. That’s his most attractive quality.
I saw so much beauty during a recent video chat I had with my best friend, that it took every ounce of strength I possessed to keep from balling my eyes out. My life has changed so much in the past couple of years that sometimes I feel like I’m going to unravel and completely fall apart and be exposed for the coward I truly am. It’s the simple things that hold me together. It’s being loved that gives me the strength to keep going. Listening to my friend laugh, watching that smile form across his face, seeing those beautiful dimples deepen in his cheeks, melts away all those fears. We don’t even have to talk about anything important; just knowing he’s there, seeing he cares, helps me more than anything else. He’s beautiful to me, not because he too is very physically handsome, but because of the man that lives beneath the layers of all that hairy skin possesses a heart of gold. He’s a dreamer, philosopher, fighter, introvert, and talented writer. He’s so very flawed. Every imperfection, bout of weirdness, and moment of quirkiness makes him that much more beautiful to me. He’s the champion of weirdoes and a superman to me.
Before you think I only think men are beautiful, these last two examples of beauty are found in two of the most craziest women I’ve ever had the privilege to know or meet. The first one I’ve never physically laid eyes on, but she’s been there for me these last few years in such a way that no one has ever been. She’s closer than a sister (never had one of those) and more nurturing than a mother (didn’t really have one of those either). Sometimes I can’t get through the day without her. She knows ALL my flaws, all my weaknesses, all my triggers, all my fears, all my hopes, all my secrets, all my shame, all my scars. I don’t show those to anyone else, because everyone who’s ever seen them change how they treated me, but she doesn’t. She loves me – scars and all. It’s like she’s kissed every one of them and declared she loves me anyway. She’s not perfect and has a lot of issues of her own, many I feel so inadequate to help her with, but she’s the perfect best friend for me. I will love this woman for the rest of my life. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world to me. We argue all the time, because she holds a mirror in front of me and forces me to see me for who I am, not who I think I should be, or who the world tries to declare.
The other woman is my youngest daughter. The way she loves me, cares for me, tries to look out for me, believes in me, encourages me, and encompasses all those values I’ve sown into her sometimes overwhelms me and has me on my face weeping. Believe me, she’s not perfect, makes lots of mistakes, and we often argue about the smallest of things – but on the things that matter she’s absolutely beautiful. She’s also physically beautiful too.
It’s these beautiful people that make my world so colorful. They are imperfectly perfect, and to the rest of the world none of them may fall under its definition of perfection. But it doesn’t matter if they are or not, they’re perfect for me. I hope they will be in my life forever. If not, I will always cherish the time I had with them.
Till next time,