I'd love to tell my daughter that I have always loved my body. That I have never abused it to lose a few pounds. That health has always taken a front seat to vanity. I'm not going to tell this lie to her.
These cultural conceptions of beauty raise many questions for me: What's wrong with having evidence of life on one's face? Why is it deemed more attractive for a person to look like she just came back from a week-long vacation in Panama?
Let it go. Your child was born with an abnormality, despite you doing everything right. You planned, you controlled, and still. Your beautiful baby is beautiful, but not perfect. Not like you pictured.
When we actively work to connect and engage with others, we create a sense of belonging for everyone. That is the seed of meaning, peace, and resilience. And you know what? It just makes life more fun.
It's not just the exposure of our partner's imperfections that we need all that patience to accept and live with, it's the exposure of our own imperfect aspects that get illuminated in reaction to them that leave us shame-faced and embarrassed.
This idea of perfection -- no flaws, no issues, no problems -- seems to infiltrate all our lives at one time or another. And like the yearning for perfection in the workplace, we also yearn for perfection in other aspects of our lives.
For many years, I have longed for the perfect day -- the one when everything goes right. I have had perhaps 10 of these. Always, my perfect day begins with a restful sleep, from which I emerge to see the sun rising ever so slowly in its colorful canvas outside my bedroom window.
On my spiritual journey I once believed that I could one day perfect "Tim" into some sort of enlightened being who was always at his best. Now it feels to me that the journey is about embracing all that I am.