Embracing Perfectly Imperfect

June 15, 2024

Embracing Perfectly Imperfect

May 29, 2023

Chip’s Note: Arlelle’s TEDx talk is deep and hilarious. Highly recommend you watch it.

Let me delightfully unveil a truth we all know deep down: we've been thoroughly brainwashed. Picture it: a world where perfection reigns supreme, where we chase after an ideal we all secretly acknowledge is as mythical as a unicorn riding a rainbow. Yet, there we are, striving to embody the epitome of beauty and fitness, the pinnacle of partnership, the zenith of parenthood, all while attempting to craft a life that would make HGTV, Food Network, and Vogue swoon with envy.

But let's get real: I'm not perfect, you're not perfect, and those influencers you're obsessing over? Well, they're not perfect either (unless you count their flawless mastery of filters and Photoshop). 

So, here's the truth I'll proudly proclaim: I am a Wabi Sabi Queenager!

So, what on earth is a Wabi Sabi Queenager, you ask? Picture this: a woman in the glorious throes of midlife or beyond, rocking her age like a boss, living with the same rebellious spirit and insatiable curiosity she had as a teenager. Except now? She's got the keys to the car, her own credit cards, and not a curfew in sight!

Now, let's dive into the marvel that is Wabi Sabi. It's a captivating ancient Japanese aesthetic that celebrates the beauty of all things old, worn, weathered, imperfect, and impermanent. It's about finding perfection in the imperfections, embracing the cracks, the flaws, the quirks that make life beautifully messy.

Take, for instance, an ancient Ming Vase sporting a big, ugly, crooked crack down the middle. What would you do with it? Throw it away? A Japanese museum would place it on a pedestal and shine a spotlight on that crack. They might even fill in the crack with 24k gold! 

Embracing Wabi Sabi allows us to make peace with our own imperfections and those of others. It’s a shift in perception that allows us to go from “annoyed to enjoyed.” You do this by seeking and finding what’s right about the person or situation instead of focusing on what’s wrong. It's like turning life's lemons into a delicious pitcher of lemonade—and at a certain age, with a sprinkle of Metamucil.

I believe we must redefine perfection as pure fiction. When we release the pursuit of the unattainable, we open ourselves up to love and embrace every quirky, messy, wonderfully imperfect part of who we are.

Our culture has tricked us into believing that perfection is the gold standard, setting us up for a perpetual cycle of frustration and disappointment. By embracing Wabi Sabi we flip the script. We trade judgment for appreciation, focusing not on what's lacking, but on the abundance of beauty that surrounds us.

So, let's embrace our imperfections, celebrate our flaws, and revel in the beauty of life's perfectly imperfect moments. Let’s remember in the dance of imperfection, we discover the rhythm of our shared humanity and therein lies our greatest strength and deepest beauty.  

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering, there’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”


~Leonard Cohen

-Arielle

Arielle Ford is the author of twelve books including her debut novel, The Love Thief, and the international bestseller, The Soulmate Secret: Manifest the Love of Your Life With The Law of Attraction. Check out her recent TEDx Talk on aging happily: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNHG36qoUSo  Arielle lives in La Jolla, CA with her husband/soulmate, Brian Hilliard and their feline friends. www.arielleford.com. She’s also an MEA guest faculty member.

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