Here is a question for you: Do you accept yourself unconditionally, just the way you are?
In case your answer is a definite “Yes”, this article is not for you. You can stop reading here.
If you answered “No”, read on.
The fact is, we are not completely happy with the way we are. All of us secretly wish to change something or the other about ourselves. I, for example
- wish I didn’t need to wear glasses.
- I wish I was a few inches taller.
- I wish I had a billion dollars in my bank account.
- I wish I looked like Brad Pitt.
The list could go on and on getting more ridiculous as it goes.
We all have one such list. A list of things we wish we could change about ourselves. Take a moment and do this thought experiment. If you were granted a wish by a genie that you could change one thing about yourself right now, what would that be? What is the first thing that pops up in your head?
It could be something about your looks. It could be your financial situation or your profession. The point is, there is always something or the other that we would like to change about ourselves. Which means we are never completely happy with the way we are. It implies that we do not accept ourselves fully as we are. This is the root cause of most of our inner conflicts and unhappiness.
Understand That Perfection Is Fool’s Gold
Name one person you know who is flawless by all standards and definitions. (Don’t say God. God is not a person)
A simple google search gives the following definition of the word perfect:
“having all the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics”
The word “desirable” is the key to understand our futile obsession with perfection. Desires are never ending. As soon as one desire is satisfied, a new one comes knocking at the door.
Perfection or flawlessness is a desired state. And the interesting thing is, it always remains a desired state. It never becomes a reality. Here is an example:
Tom who makes $20,000 a year thinks “my financial situation would be perfect if I make $50,000 a year”. Fast forward 5 years and Tom is now making $50,000 a year. That’s his perfect financial situation. Yet now Tom feels “my financial situation would be perfect if I was making $100,000 a year”. The definition of his “perfect financial situation” changes once he gets there.
We can only pursue flawlessness and perfection. We can never achieve it because it doesn’t really exist. It is like the carrot tied in front of the donkey and the donkey eternally chasing it. It can never reach the carrot because when the donkey moves, the carrot moves with it. We are like the donkey and the state of flawlessness is the carrot.
Understanding The Nature Of Flaws
We were created with flaws. We all have some gaps in ourselves which we strive to fill throughout our lives. This is the driving force of existence. The journey from being this to becoming that.Stephen Hawkings, the great astrophysicist puts it in perspective:
“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist”
― Stephen Hawking .
We are not becoming better when we are striving to change by mending our flaws. Rather, we are just changing our state of existence from being this to being that.
This process of becoming or evolving or changing is life.
Life is a journey from being flawed to becoming flawless. Imperfection to perfection. This continuous process of becoming is the fabric of all existence. Everything is evolving, changing, becoming something other than what it is. Every moment. You are no exception to it. Don’t Take The Game Too Seriously
Flaws are OK. Flaws are good. We exist because of our flaws. Don’t you see, that’s the entire game. This chase for perfection or flawlessness is our life force. The problem starts when we take this game too seriously. We become all serious and tense up in our pursuit of removing all our “flaws”.
Is it wrong to try and remove my flaws? Is it wrong to strive for perfection?
No. There is nothing wrong with wanting to remove your flaws. It goes wrong when you become too tensed and serious about this game. When you forget that after all, this is just a game, a play. It goes wrong when you start hating your flaws with a burning passion. When your flaws make you grit your teeth and clench your fists.
The answer is, to first totally accept your flaws. Don’t be bitter. Once you do that, life is no longer a struggle. It ceases to be a struggle and becomes fun. From flaw to flawless. One flaw at a time. Enjoy the game.
“Flaw” Is Just An Idea
A “flaw” is just a concept.. In reality, there is no such thing as a flaw. Blindness is not a flaw in a country of blind people. You are 5ft8inches tall. You want to be 6ft tall. So your height is a flaw according to you. For someone who is 5ft3inches tall, your height is perfect. It is not a flaw for that person.
Your flaw is someone else’s perfection.
Here is another powerful idea: “Your flaws exist only in the light of the existence of others”
If you were the only living human in the world, you would not have any concept of flaws in yourself. Nobody to compare yourself with. Hence no flaws.
Everything Is Perfect As It Is
You have two choices. You can accept your flaws, and change them, playing along and enjoying the journey. Or you can cry and complain about it all you want. When you accept your flaws as a part of you, they cease to be flaws. They are there but they don’t bother you anymore.
Accepting yourself doesn’t mean accepting only the good and positive aspects. It means accepting your flaws and negative aspects too.
An aspect about yourself becomes a “flaw” when you choose to see it as one. And that choice will greatly impact how you view yourself. Accepting your flaws will allow you to accept yourself fully. And that will empower you beyond your wildest dreams. Self acceptance is power.
Say a certain quality in yourself, that you see as a flaw, is bothering you too much then ask yourself this question: Can I do something to change it? If yes, then go ahead and change it. If no, then learn to accept it wholeheartedly as a part of yourself.
What’s more? Once you learn to accept your own flaws, you become more accepting of others and their flaws too. You become less judgmental. And that sets you free on so many levels. You become more relaxed. Less rigid. Slowly, you come to the realization that there are no flaws, no mistakes in existence. Everything in existence is perfect just as it is.
So, at the end of the day, your flaws don’t even matter. Stop losing sleep over your so called flaws. Accept yourself as you are and allow yourself to feel powerful. Set yourself free from these limiting notions of being flawed or imperfect. They do you no good. And they waste your time and energy. Just understand this:
“There are no mistakes in existence. Everything is perfect as it is.”
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