Believing the myth of perfection keeps you from joy

May your inner self be secure and happy

May your inner self be secure and happyIf you were perfect, what would you be like? How would you dress, walk and talk?

Most of us keep an image of perfection in our minds that we truck out. We compare ourselves against it.

Perfect Gen wouldn’t spill tea down her front minutes before teaching class. Perfect Gen probably wouldn’t be addicted to tea and certainly would be coordinated.

As real Gen, I had to squeeze out what I could of my soggy shirt and do my best. If spilling tea is the risk I have to take as a tea drinker, then I will deal with it.

Lessons from pasta

I watched a food show that made me hungry and thoughtful at the same time. Hungry because it looked delicious. Thoughtful because the hosts mentioned that rough pasta is the tastiest. Why?

Perfectly smooth pasta can’t soak up sauce as well as pasta with some texture on the surface. The surface might seem too rough at first glance but once the pasta is in the sauce, it’s beautiful.

Perfect or joyful

Perfection can be an enemy of joy. Instead of seeing the beauty around us in people, our homes and ourselves, we wrestle with wanting to be flawless. We become prisoners of our own minds and judgments.

We chide ourselves to improve. A mother thinks she should be kinder and more patient, even after hours of playing Legos with her son. An artist imagines the painting should hold more emotion and thought, although declared stunning by others. A woman looking at herself in a mirror concentrates on imagined spots when everyone only notices her smile.

How do we find contentment if we cannot be perfect in this life?

Joy lives in being present to moments as they are in messy, glorious days. Cups of teas spill. Tea-soaked teachers teach.

Our rough edges are the places where we can best soak up all the flavors of life.


God, you who hold all our tomorrows,
remind us of the joy in today.

We can relax and trust in the new beginning
you offer us.

Bless us now in our imperfection.
Help us focus on living out your love in the world.

Tell me your thoughts!

What does the perfect version of you look like? How do you use that image against yourself?