Perfect

4 Dec

What a word.  Perfect.  Everyone knows what it means and we have all used it a million times.  We all say it.  The steak was perfect.  Her hair was perfect.  My life is perfect.  The temperature outside is perfect.  Okay, lets face it.  Reality check.  Not only are those statements false, that isn’t how we usually use that word.

We might say something like “Well I am not perfect you know!”, or “My drawing stinks.  It isn’t perfect.” or “I am sorry that my homework isn’t perfect”.  How self defeating is that?  Whats worse, though, is that we don’t just say these things.  We think these toxic thoughts, like “My house isn’t perfect so I don’t want to have any one over”, or “I can’t do the perfect dunk so I am not going to try out for the basketball team”, or “I am so ugly because my skin isn’t perfect”.  That word, especially when it’s just in our own mind, plays directly toward our insecurity.

In our society, we are raised, to some extent, to aspire to this ideal called perfection.  We value working  toward the perfect (insert school, job, outfit, look, social circle, etc) here.  Like when you are finally good enough, you reach perfection.  Well for the record, I completely poo poo this ideal.  This is not what our life journey should be about.  Every day we have the opportunity to improve, but to be perfect?  No way.

The word perfect seems to be a put down, not an aspiration.  It is a negative word.  Perfect, in my opinion, is used commonly in our society to measure shortfalls, not gains.  And worse yet, I believe that it is used to measure perceived and not actual shortfalls, like why you aren’t something better, or can’t accomplish something more.  It is a rationale for falling short, not an inspiration for improvement. That sounds like a very stagnant attitude.  To make my point, let’s look at a definition of the word.

Merriam Webster partially defines the word including “being entirely without fault or defect : flawless, corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept”.  Entirely without defect? Abstract concept?  To this I roll my eyes, huff out an exasperated puff, and say whatever.  To be entirely without defect also sounds entirely uninteresting.  Boring.  Flat.  Why would anyone want to aspire to that?  Ugh.

If you are striving for perfection, it would be difficult or likely impossible to take a risk with an unknown outcome.  You couldn’t think outside the box.  You couldn’t look at this, but try that.  No sir.  Where is the life in that?  Life should be exciting, risky, thought provoking.  That is what propels us forward!

Yes, perfection is a word to be avoided.  In fact, I have a list of words that I ask my children not to say because you simply cannot use certain words in a positive light.  Stupid is a word banned in my household.  So is shut up.  And you guessed it.  So is perfect.  We simply do not use these words in my family.  The “P” word is banned, these “S” words are banned…and so is that “F” word…failure.  Mistake?  Perhaps so.  Failure?  No.

Imperfection.  Now that’s a word for me!  That’s where it’s at!  Use that word and its all good!  In speaking about myself, I am going to say that my face is imperfect (ummm, perfect = flawless)…it has wrinkles, but I am going to smile anyway!   Laugh lines rock!  My mom skills are imperfect, but I am going to continue to honor and rejoice in my motherhood anyway!  My cooking is imperfect, but I am going to make dinner  anyway!  My day is imperfect, but I am going to celebrate joy and be grateful anyway!  So be imperfect, have a blast in life, and forget that “P” word for good!

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One Response to “Perfect”

  1. Shirley Klingele December 4, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Hi, its your perfect mom……….just wanted to say what a well written blog… I love it, and I love you for bringing the word to light in a very insightful way… I learned alot from this one, as always brilliant… 🙂 I love you and thanks for be my perfect daughter……..:) just kidding~

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