A Spirituality of Imperfection
Updated: Jun 21, 2018
Like most of you, I struggle with coming to terms with my own imperfect self. We all know that we are imperfect in general, but somehow when I do some act or say something to someone that is hurtful, or foolish, or embarrassing, I think to myself “I should have known better”. Perhaps it’s true – but whether or not I did or I didn’t somehow “know better” at the moment, I did still cause harm or do something that is outside of my own image of myself. A spirituality of imperfection might call us to embrace our imperfections. Embracing them is different than excusing them, or explaining them away, or blaming some external circumstance. Embracing our imperfection says very clearly “I screwed up”. Plain and simple. No excuses. No hedges. I did or said something that I wish I hadn’t. But, I did say or do that.
Spirituality does not call us to find some perfect version of ourselves to aspire to. It does not necessarily lead us to “peace”. A spirituality worth it’s salt leads us to “own” the truth of our imperfection – and still pick ourselves up, dust off our shoes and move on. What our imperfection does do for us is make us truly understand that we are not in control at all times and that we have people around us who also screw up and admit it. We need a community of imperfect friends to help us with our own imperfection. Luckily enough, most of us have those right at hand! When we come to terms with our own true imperfectability, we can better accept the imperfections of our friends, our spouse, our kids, our neighbors, our country.
We are all saintly fools, holy sinners and square circles. We are both/and, not either/or. When we deny this “torn-to-pieceness” of ourselves, we deny our very life. We are called it seems, to both embrace our imperfection and yet continue to journey towards wholeness and truth. May the journey be kind to you in the coming days. Penny