“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen
I don’t know who suggested that Leonard Cohen can sing I would say he is a very acquired taste; but the poetry in his songs is beautiful. I was woken up by this one morning a few weeks ago and was very struck by the sentiment.
We always aim for perfection and no doubt give ourselves a hard time when we don’t achieve it. As some of you know I have been battling with drawing recently, every time I draw something my first reaction is ‘that’s no good’. If, I don’t throw it away, when I come back to look at it again it’s never as bad as I first thought; I can usually see what I could improve on and how I can do it. It’s repetition that makes things get better.
Giving yourself a hard time doesn’t improve anything either; think about planing a piece of wood or polishing metal, the repeated actions brings up the grain and improves the shine.
Imagine if a baby gave up because they couldn’t crack crawling first time?
How many entrepreneurs have several collapsed businesses behind them? All of them; people practically never get things right the first time.
There is a saying in religion that only God is perfect, which I think is worth remembering when we are giving ourselves a hard time about something we feel isn’t ok. Another consideration is if you can’t see the flaw from across the room don’t fret.
The cracks truly are where the light gets in; it’s in the imperfections where your beauty and individuality lie. When you see these picture perfect houses or lives do you think you’d feel comfortable there? Would you feel accepted if you weren’t picture perfect and who sets the standard?
I love photo’s of elderly people you can see a life well lived; character, reality not perfect masks.
Give me life and animation, interest and warmth not a beautiful automaton, scared to express an opinion.
Celebrate your cracks and wrinkles, the things that haven’t gone to plan, the 900th iteration of a drawing, laugh about it. Don’t take things too seriously; life is too short for fretting.
As we move into 2023 look back and see what was good and make a plan for more of that, perfect or not!
Happy Imperfect 2023 to you all.