Whatever you are doing, do it with all your heart—those were the words of the melody that started playing in my mind when I sat down at my computer to write this post. At first that little melody annoyed me; I did not feel excited and happy about the day—just grumpy and tired. But wholehearted living—like everything else—is a choice before it’s a feeling. It involves many daily and challenging choices. Among them is a willingness to accept imperfection.
Brené Brown, in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, goes beyond this; she says that wholehearted living means embracing imperfection. When I first read that statement, it did not make sense to me. I dislike being imperfect; nevertheless, it is reality. And refusing to accept myself in my imperfect state insures unhappiness. It means that I can only be satisfied with an accomplishment if it contains no flaws.
Last night my husband asked the members of his small group (of which I am a part) to share an accomplishment that they felt good about. When my turn came, I held up my book and said, “I published my book and here it is! I’m excited about sharing it.” I am excited, yet my excitement fluctuates. Putting my imperfect but growing self “out there” for others to see is exciting, but also scary. How do I overcome the scariness? By reminding myself of the truths reflected in the following poem, written before my hair started turning gray.
I would like to reach maturity without the graying hair.
I’d like to skip a step or two; instead I climb each stair.
I’d like to pass the tests of life without a failing score.
However, I have flunked a few; more will come, I’m sure.
I’d like to skate Olympic style—command performance sing.
But when it comes to exercise, no strength my muscles bring.
When I’m challenged by some task, I quickly volunteer—
Then emotions fade and flee, my knees give way in fear.
I’d like to boast in confidence—all my great exploits sell.
But most of them are fantasies—a lie I will not tell.
When I face reality, I know I’m simply dust.
To mold me in perfection’s plan, my Savior I will trust.
Our present reality–immaturity and imperfection is the topic I discuss in chapter 2 of Emotional Freedom. I point out that perfection is not about flawlessness, but about character change—the development of healthy love in our lives, which happens as we connect with Jesus Christ.
Always such good food for thought, Jane.
The difference between perfection and excellence- doing our best, and trusting God for the rest!
Thank you, Donna! I usually write about my “growing edge.”
Cannot wait to read the book. So many truths, so much wisdom. Thanks for sharing your imperfections, I believe it will truly help soooo many people.
Thanks for your encouragement, Rose!