I hear that sometimes, spoken by a friend or acquaintance, or sometimes practical strangers. I feel a small spark of wow, thank you, but just as quickly that spark fades into a feeling of damp discontent. It’s a lie. I’m not perfect. Nothing about me is perfect. Not my hair, not my eyeliner, not myself. And yet, so often, I’m not willing to show people the messy parts; to offer them a glimpse behind the scenes. They don’t see me roll out of bed, grumpy and unwilling to speak until I’ve had my coffee. They don’t see me putting on makeup or doing my hair, or the time I take to figure out what I’m going to wear. They see me laugh, but rarely do they see all the times I sit curled up in a blanket on my bed with my hands cupped over my mouth, crying because something triggered what I’ve recently realized is my personal brand of ptsd. They don’t see the sin I struggle through or the battles I fight.
I’m very far from perfect. The truth is, I’m a mess. I’m insecure and I’m overly sensitive. I’m easily overwhelmed, easily bored, and I snarl when I’m stressed. I’m not good at juggling things and I procrastinate until I’m piled under a mountain of things I need to do. I pour everything I have out until I’m so drained I have nothing else to give, and then I get crabby and treat my family like strangers. I have poor communication skills and when I open my mouth, my mind gets lost along the way and I can’t say anything right. I’m constantly second-guessing everything I do, say, and think, and sometimes I think and feel so much that I shut up completely.
Here’s the thing – I don’t want perfect. I’d rather someone said, ‘I understand you’re only human and you have tons of flaws, but I love you anyway’ or ‘you inspire me to be better,’ or ‘I’m proud of you.’ I’d rather have honesty than a thousand empty remarks of ‘you’re perfect.’
I crave to be understood the same way I understand other people. I despise being a center of attention, but what I really want is for someone to ask how I feel about a subject, or what my opinion on a thing is. What I really want is to be known, rather than taken at face value. I act for the sake of others, but at the same time, I want people to be able to see past the persona.
I’m not perfect. I never have been, and I won’t ever be – not in this life. Jesus is the only person who has ever been perfect.
But what imperfection gives me is the ability to relate to others, and it’s something I value. People can open up to me about their deepest fears and darkest secrets, and I can meet them there and hold their hand, if they let me. I’m glad I’m messy. I’m glad I can strive to be better, to be more than I am.
That’s really what it’s all about – as Jenny said to me just this morning, it’s about taking the best parts of yourself and making them gold. The spirit of God is in you, and that’s enough.