//not so perfect

‘You’re perfect.’

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.

anais

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.

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15 thoughts on “//not so perfect

  1. There’s a Matthew West song that goes “I don’t have to be strong enough”, because Jesus is.
    I think you can switch the lyrics a little and say we don’t have to be perfect, Jesus is.

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    1. I think the reason we feel our imperfections so deeply is because we /were/ made to be perfect. Then we ruined everything, and we can feel the wrongness of it – but God isn’t surprised by anything we do, and His forgiveness never ends.

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      1. That. Right there. That makes so much sense–we feel our imperfections deeply because we were intended to be perfect. It’s the same reason death and loss hurt so much, because we were made to last forever. It’s the reason why the sad things happening in the world feel so very, very *wrong.* Because it wasn’t meant to be this way.

        But there is grace. There is redemption. And God is always in the process of restoring what’s broken in our lives.

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  2. Darling, I know sometimes I tell you you’re perfect and when I say that, what I mean is not “you’re perfect.” I know you’re not. I don’t know how you’re not or what your flaws are. But I know you have them. What I mean when I tell you you’re perfect is this:
    • you are a role model
    • you’re not perfect, but I /do/ love you anyway
    • you’re strong
    • you have more personality in your pinky toenail than most people do in their whole bodies
    • you are beautiful to the soul
    • you know how to work the physical beauty (you really do) but what makes that beautiful is the fact that that’s not all you focus on

    You’re not perfect, but I do love you and I admire you and if you ever need anything, ask me for prayers. I won’t ask questions if you don’t want me to because that’s your business and I respect that. <3

    So when I say "you're perfect" just know what I mean instead. <3

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  3. Yes. Just…yes. Honesty is so important. Don’t say something if you don’t mean it, even if it’s a compliment. It doesn’t make the person feel any more loved if there is no meaning in the phrase you’re using. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
    At the same time, /tell/ someone when you really do have something nice to say, and don’t hold it back. You never know what you could be doing for their self-esteem, or their self-acceptance. Your words could be what encourages the person to continue developing their talents and interests. If you really related to what a person said or if it touched you, tell them – they don’t know what you’re thinking about them, and they will probably assume the worst if you don’t speak up and tell them that they are appreciated.
    It was so wonderful to read your post today. We just had a family discussion this morning along similar lines, and I’ve been reminded of this subject so much recently. Thank you for the way that you say things that need to be said, and that with every post you remind me of such important things <3

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  4. Ummm… my husband agrees… this post could have been written by my hand about myself. I am TRULY so blessed to have you in my life. I never thought you were perfect, aside from being the perfect you at being you, because you are you. No one else could be you. And, that is awesome. because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. You are God’s creation, and He knit you in your mother’s womb, and He has purpose for who and how you are. and, that goes for ALL of us!! It just makes me….. SO EXCITED!!! and relieved. hahahah!! Thank you for your honesty, for being real about this. I do love that about you, and I crave that in relationships. Please know… I agree. on all of that. especially the part about “my own personal PTSD”. I have NEVER heard anyone put it that way, (except me in my own head) but it is so true. soooo true. thank you, and a BIG hug!!

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  5. do you know, it’s not your gorgeous selfies, or your always-improving-and-killing-me-more writing skills, or any of the truly amazing things that are a part of you that make me love you so very much. it’s posts like these, where I see we fight the same battles, even as I see the ground you’ve gained and you growing and working to become who you were created to be. that’s inspiring and beautiful and absolutely lovable. <3

    and come on, you know if anybody thought you were /really/ a completely perfect internet persona, they would be more jealous and annoyed than adoring of you. XD

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  6. in this post it’s as if you took the thoughts I didn’t know how to say right out of my heart and said them in writing. this is truly beautiful <3 and so are you. YOU. your imperfect self. <3

    all of us, every human is imperfect, but striving for perfection is an honorable goal ;)

    there is this song that touches my heart, I take it from a different angle…I take it as Me talking to my Self:

    "love your curves and all your edges,
    all your perfect imperfections"

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