Not Perfect. Brave.

We are not meant to live perfect lives.

We will never have perfect health, perfect work, perfect relationships, perfect finances, perfect leisure, perfect faith or perfect time-management to do everything that makes up our lives.

We all make ourselves sick. We all make mistakes at work. We all hurt the people in our lives. We all make stupid purchases. We all get stressed on vacation. We all put our spirits on the back burner when there’s too much “real life” stuff going on.

Even when you’re living your best life, it will not feel perfect if you want to get rid of the flaws.

The example of Alan Watts comes to mind. His life was such a gift to the world. He played an instrumental role in the movement of bringing Eastern thought to the West. He wrote many books and gave even more lectures filled with wisdom and insight. He had a unique spark about him that he willingly shared and that lives on after him in his work.

He also had three failed marriages and a drinking problem that, it has been said, was a reaction to his anxiety of public speaking and a contributing factor to his death.

Do these pieces of his life make his whole life not perfect? Who cares?

Who’s to say the world would have the brilliance of Alan Watts without his flaws? What if, instead of writing and speaking, he focused his energy on perfecting his flaws?

How many of us are guilty of exactly that? How many of us deny the world our gifts because we fear showing our imperfection?

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We all have something we need to give birth to, and there will always be metaphorical power lines in the way.

I argue that our true faults are not our “character flaws” or our failed ventures. Our real imperfections are our tendencies to deny our hearts’ desires and our lives’ missions.

We make ourselves imperfect when we make choices that take us off our path, that steer us away from giving our gifts to the world. We choose the wrong school, spouse, career, religion, location, community, hobby…because we convince ourselves that’s the life we should want.

Should be is safe. Meant to be takes bravery.

So why worry about your flaws? Are people going to criticize you? Yes, every step of the way. Everyone who’s ever done anything has done it in the face of criticism. This is a step on all of our paths–learning to be who we’re meant to be and what we’re meant to do no matter what!

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For me, it’s this.

 

We are not meant to live perfect lives.

We are meant to live brave ones.

 

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