In preparation for my upcoming move across country, I had a yard sale a few weeks ago. One of the things I offered was a small, hand-created, wooden folk-art pig. The little guy had never been perfect; being handmade, he had peculiarities. Also somewhere in my ownership, he had fallen in an earthquake and gotten a crack over one ear.
No one bought him. So yay! I got to keep his kooky little self.
We humans are not impressed with flaws. We don’t like them in others. We despise them in ourselves.
Even though this, "Being flawed is bad" point of view has made so many lives a full-on misery of self-dissatisfaction.
I mean, look at you for example, sitting there all cracked and weird. Look at that quick anger, those unloving judgments, the depressions, the secret shames. (What, you thought you were the only one?) Watch you yell at the kids, make mistakes, or freeze in order to not make any. Watch you eat too much, drink too much, avoid too much, be lazy too much.
Anxious, disapproving, unproductive, addicted, guilty, regretful, you.
Which, when we think about it, is kind of funny. Because what is a “flaw” anyway? What defines this thing we spend lifetimes trying to fix?
After all, does perfection exist in any living thing? Anywhere?
Does a lawn full of grass blades not include brown spots, curled edges, holes and bumps?
Maybe our certainty that we know what imperfection is, is... confused.
Because you know what grass would be without those flaws?
So-called defects are what separate life from plastic.
All life is rampant with irregularities, blemishes and shortcomings.
Existence celebrates them, everywhere. Requires them actually.
How do we know flaws are required? Because imperfections are the only option. Nothing else exists.
Nature creates all these infinite configurations and varieties of experience. And then humans, with our delightful humility, come along and say “No! That’s bad!”
And we get to fixing, smoothing, therapizing, inquiring and satsanging.
It seem that all our crazy species wants is sameness and duplication.
As if Barbie is somehow better than a real girl.
And even though sameness is dull and monotonous.
“Normal” is completely uninteresting.
So could it be that what we think of as flaws are not actually flaws?
Could it be that your unwanted reactions and despised peculiarities are actually what make you amazing, and distinguish you from lifeless, perfect, duplicatable plastic?
Could it be your personal anxiety or temper or kooky sexual preference might be something to be treasured…. instead of hidden, anesthetized and whitewashed?
We may have had it wrong all this time.
Perhaps it’s worth at least considering the usually rejected possibility that…
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Flawed and broken as you are.
Alive, odd, aberrant, wrong, unfixed you.
Like a cracked artful little pig…
Beautiful with its flaws.
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