Celebrate Your Imperfections


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Self-Care Tip #153 – Celebrate your imperfections and adequacy.  Be a friend to yourself.

Chrystal came in.  Years with degrees of depression pulling her up and down leave her hoping to reach euthymia (steady level mood).  Chrystal and I frequently find ourselves talking about the grief that comes with this.  But not so much today.  She was hopeful after a new medication trial gave her a week with less melancholy.

In depression, even a few hours of relief from the dark inability to feel pleasure or interest, even a few hours when hope slips in can be enough to remind us what it is about life that is worth living for.  Chrystal has stood in and out of that shard of hope many times.  Each time it returns, she turns her face into it.  Hungry.  Wanting.  Alive still.  Responding to what any of us do, as any of us would, when hope is on us.

Celebrating a little together this lovely hope, she was nevertheless aware that it might sneak off again.  She said, “We’ll see.”  I said, “We’ll see.”

And then I remembered.  “Why can’t we celebrate your flaws?  Who says we can’t?”  They have beauty.  They have depth and shape and the loveliness that comes only from pain.

Chrystal looked at me doubtfully.  “Really?  I’m not so sure about that.”

I remember Someone perfect.  Last I heard, He had some pain and scars too and it didn’t change His status, value, or essence.

If we can’t celebrate our imperfections, we can’t celebrate anything because that is who we are.  Imperfect, all of us, except for One.  All of us adequate.

Adequate.  I celebrate that I am adequate today.  Adequate to live, to love, to do what I do.  “Adequate” implies a personal balance between perfection and flaws.  It implies a presence with both poles.  It does not quantify.  It does not mean that we don’t continue to grow or hope.

I’m not sure about everyone’s opinion about my self-perception, my attitude, or my effort at life.  However, I am growing surer of my own and am getting glad about that.  I’m wondering if Chrystal can celebrate her flawed self as much as she celebrates the hope of escaping her suffering.  What about you?

If each of us in turn were as pleased with ourselves as that, still hoping, still growing, still hurting, still suffering, what then?  Let’s celebrate together, alone, healthy, ill or wherever we find ourselves.  Let’s celebrate our imperfections and adequacy.

Question:  How do you live with your adequacy?  Please tell me your story.