Permission to Have Flaws

I believe I owe all the best parts of my adulthood to embracing my imperfections and showcasing them.” Beth Ditto

What is the earliest memory you have of being told that your imperfections were not ok? Maybe you bit your nails, threw a temper tantrum in public or simply sat a way that wasn’t suitable to your parents. Our parents were most likely unaware of the message they were sending to us as small children, but before we could even formulate a complete sentence, it’s likely that we were told that our flaws should be hidden. And as parents, we think we’re doing a good thing by telling our kids to stay in line because they have to “fit” into society. The effect of pointing out and correcting imperfections, though, is that we unwittingly impact our children’s self-esteem (and even our own). Imperfections are human. They actually are there to provide us with an avenue for growth. For example, maybe something that is “wrong” with us helps push us to become better to others. Or maybe it allows us to finally learn to ask for help. We hide our imperfections too often because we think that we will be rejected or believe we are unlovable. Yet, it is through our shared imperfections that most of us connect. When we dare to be vulnerable and take off the mask, we see how flaws might just be our greatest source of joy.  Being able to embrace our imperfections and showcase them means being present and happy. Imagine instead of being weighed down by constant judgment and that nagging voice that says we’re not ok, how it might feel to give ourselves permission to have flaws – so that they become as part of this great package we send out into the world. Rather than opening the wound of our childhood pain, we instead can take back pieces of ourself and feel more confident, strong and whole.

Weekly Path to Peace: Give yourself permission to have flaws.

  • What is your earliest memory of being told that your imperfections were wrong, bad or needed to be corrected? Spend time journaling about your earliest recollection – who was there, how you felt and what message did you take away from that circumstance or situation. Also, note how your need to fix or correct your imperfections has held you back?
  • To embrace your imperfections, begin by writing out a loving statement or mantra that you can say to yourself each and every morning this week. Choose one imperfection that you will showcase this week. Whether it’s your body, a vulnerability or other imperfection, decide to share that imperfection with at least one other person – talk about it, flaunt it and give yourself permission to love everything about it.

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.