“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.