“Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen
These words keep somersaulting in my head. There is so much wisdom in these lyrics. Isn’t it a truth that we all intrinsically know, but somehow deny every time? In this space, for almost three years, I’ve catalogued my obsession with my restless spirit and my unending need to adhere to certainty. As I write today, I know where my internal flaw exists. Sometimes I am still hesitant to really embrace the cracks, even thought I intellectually know that is where I must climb and rest and pause to gain more understanding about myself and the world. My head does not require convincing, it is my heart that really must feel the gravity of embracing imperfection.
The first step in getting there is making this announcement:
I am not perfect.
I am not perfect in my devotion to God. I am not a perfect daughter. I am not a perfect sister. I am not a perfect wife. I am not a perfect mother. I am not a perfect friend.
The truth? It is scary to come to this conclusion. I’ve spent almost 4 decades demanding that I meet a “perfect” standard. When I “fail” to meet my me-created definitions, it leads to feeling of not being enough of anything. And this is dangerous. It fuels doubt.
And this uncertainty fuels my reluctance to take risks or try new endeavors or finish tasks that need completion. Wedded to this “perfection” creates so much anxiety. The truth, again? I am petrified writing this post because it lacks the “perfect” way to describe what I am feeling. Will people even be interested in reading my musings about imperfection? So at this point, I make a choice. Should I abandon this post and not hit publish? Will it always remain a draft because I am not satisfied because it isn’t “perfect”?
Do you understand what I mean? How many times do we stop ourselves because we aren’t guaranteed a perfect outcome? Do we take the career risk? Do we tell our loved ones what we are really feeling inside? Do we forego wearing a dress or a color because we won’t be perceived as perfect? How many times are we afraid to show our cracks? Do we spend a lifetime covering them, instead of announcing what everyone already knows?
Friends, I am here to tell you, the fissures are everywhere. Some of the cracks, I only know. Some of the cracks you can see, but I feel them. I live them. I will say Leonard Cohen’s words again. “There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.”
That light. May we all strive for it. Even if it isn’t perfect.
I do know this feeling all too well, too, Rudri, and like you it has kept me from even trying a lot of things in life. I too hesitate too much before hitting “publish” which is why I am not more active on my blog.
I’ve learned that sometimes it helps not only ourselves but others too to not be “perfect.” Letting ourselves just “be” gives permission for others to do the same. I think sometimes that when we are hard on ourselves we scare others away; they think we expect the same perfection of them.
I am the most risk-averse person ever because I fear failure. Which is why that book hasn’t been written…I hate that I’m such a scaredy cat.
So true. The seeker who seeks perfection will destroy herself and others, but those who trust in God allowing His light to seep through the cracks will find true contentment and joy even during the hard times. Stopping by to say hi!
We are not meant to be perfect…and perfect lacks a certain charm. 🙂 I believe it’s good to fall and get hurt and learn a lesson. Keep on living…make mistakes…and grow. Lovely post. xo.
I love the quote! 🙂
What a beautiful quote! And what a lovely, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing your fears and imperfections.
My own imperfections are something I find over and over again, and each one stings a little. I am more at peace with most of my imperfections now but there are still things that make me cringe. Stupid things. Like last week I wrote on the chalkboard for a teacher at church. After I got home I realized I had misspelled a word on the chalkboard in front of thirty or so of my neighbors. No one said anything. It’s possible no one noticed. But I am aware of it and it makes me crazy. See, stupid things like that.
I’m working on it. I’m working on being more forgiving of myself. I working at laughing at my mistakes more. But right now, it’s still difficult. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.
Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
(I don’t think your linky at SITS is working properly; I had to search your blog to find it instead. I thought you’d want to know so you can fix it.)
I struggle with the same. Fears of imperfection hold me back so often. The number of drafts in my blog that may never see the light because I can’t quite get them perfect… It’s a large number. That quote is inspiration and I hope it propels us all forward.
Perfect, or not, your writing is beautiful.
Such sage advice and so beautifully written.
What an inspirational post, Rudri. Thank you for your insight and honesty. I’ll be looking at my cracks differently now! Let the light in 🙂
What a comforting thought – and really, how presumptuous of any of us to think we can be perfect anyway. Right? In this lifetime?
We can be excellent. We can do our best. But perfection?
When I got married, my mother reminded me that my spouse wasn’t going to be perfect. “Can you imagine how difficult it would be to be married to someone who was?” she asked.
“He’d always be right,” she said with a wink.
She was right. It’s too heavy a burden for anyone to bear.
Thank you for this. It made me smile and think of how Leonard Cohen first entered my life, wafting in through an open window, sent on the soft summer LA air by one of his former lovers who played him over and over until my annoyance finally cracked and gave way to gratitude in becoming acquainted with his haunting lyrical power (and with my neighbor’s daffy eccentricity).
One great L. Cohen lyric deserves another:
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Love that quote.
I used to strive for perfection in everything. I finally accepted it isn’t possible, however there are certain areas in which I still strive for it…I think we are always much harder on ourselves than others.
I think you’re opening a new door here and it’s very exciting. I think we just reach a certain age when we allow ourselves to be *us* – warts ‘n all. We throw away the often impossible perceptions we’ve had about how life *should* be and start to ignore those horrid self-sabotaging inner voices. We abandon the perceived expectations of others – because we realise they were only ever in our own heads anyway! The truth: We are all imperfect human beings. And thank heavens we are – it makes life more interesting. It’s a great release. to finally get this.
It’s so hard to see the light sometimes, even when you know it’s there. I always seem to notice it more when it’s reflected back to me in something my children say or do, when I’m reminded that it’s not being perfect but making the effort that counts.
I know you know that I am constantly struggling with this too. But you’re so right…we need to have the cracks.