How many times do we look in the mirror and always seem to find something wrong with ourselves? We never seem to be happy with ourselves as we see it. We always want to be just those few kilos lighter or heavier, our hair curlier, thicker or straighter, those few less wrinkles or that little bit younger or older. I know that I for one find a myriad of issues with myself and sometimes worry that other people will see those imperfections as well.
But I heard a beautiful word this morning. It is Japanese in origin and it is Wabi Sabi. There is no direct translation but it means ‘finding beauty in imperfection. Celebrate things that are rough, authentic and modest. It sees the beauty in the cracks and frayed edges left by time, weather and loving use.’
Wabi Sabi reveres the natural cycles of birth, growth and decay and it reminds us that we are transient beings, that our bodies and the material world around us will one day return to the dust from which we came.
After hearing this it made me realise that we only have one life, one body and it was a powerful lesson in acceptance. It taught me that it was time to change my way of thinking and if I start to self-criticise then I have to take a step back and look at the wider picture of who I am, to include my strengths and qualities that I do like.
Too often we are so critical our ourselves when in fact our so called ‘flaws and traits’ brilliantly combine together to make us who we are as individuals. What makes us amazing is the entire package of us, varied, complex, beautiful and unique.
I don’t think I will be accepting of all my ‘flaws and traits’ overnight but the next time I have those thoughts of wanting something to be different I think I will look at myself through the eyes of Wabi Sabi and realise that all the cracks, chips, wrinkles and extra kilos are what make me who I am, rather than flaws that I need to try and fix. If you ever have thoughts that you aren’t good enough because of those so called imperfections, view them as marks of your wholeness, uniqueness, humanity and beauty.
‘Come to me whole with your flaws, your scars and everything you consider imperfect and let me show you what I see. I see galaxies in your eyes and fire in your hair. I see journeys in your palms and adventure waiting in your smile. I see what you cannot, you are absolutely, maddingly, irrevocably perfect.’ ~ Ariana Reines