perfecting the imperfect…..


I received a couple of emails in the last few days from friends, letting me ( gently!) know that my absence from the web has not gone unnoticed…to be sure, the last few months have been a bit difficult, but I realized this morning there is also something else going on in my head…I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection”. I am about half way through, and to be honest ( someone gave it to me) I thought ” I don’t need this book…I am not a perfectionist!”…and I am not….but I am pretty darn hard on myself, which, from an emotional standpoint, brings me pretty much to the same place.

Brene says in her book “”Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.” basically, her message is that , to live your life in a wholehearted fashion, it begins with accepting yourself as WORTHY…regardless of your insecurities, fears, phobias, unfinished business…all of it. Accepting yourself as you are, and realizing your unique value, regardless, is the key ( I think…not done w/ the book yet) to much greater happiness and satisfaction.

So…back to the point I was getting at…

A good friend once said that “comparison is the death of creativity”….

Well, here is where I am hugely imperfect. I don’t want to BE anyone other than who I am. But I fret, and fear. About this. My blog. I hide at times, basically masking fear. That I am not enough. That I cannot take the glamorous photos some do. That I am not willing/able to spread my life as an open book so completely as some do. So then, I will never, ever have the community, and success that some in ‘blogland’ do…in my overly globalizing mind, I believe that all is lost, or impossible, and  I am never going to get good at this….or find my own unique groove…I become paralyzed.

No, I am not straining for perfection, but I  realize I am still focused on perceived inadequacies, which is a habit that is equally deadly. Some days, I feel so stuck, I cannot even face my studio, my metals, my tools…and yet, that is what, above all else, gives me peace!  When I am sitting at my bench carving, the rhythm of my hands….. it’s  a moving meditation for me. I push little bits of my heart and soul and my life lessons and everything I am into each stroke of the tool. And yet, I worry. Am I enough? Will it be enough? What is my place? Can I even carve a space for myself in cyberspace that is uniquely mine? And, here is the big one, equally viable. Compared to those I admire.

Brene talks about staging a ‘perfect protest’…creating sacred space for  a moratorium on perfectionism, if even for a short time. Short times, practiced diligently, can become good habits…this I know….

So, here I am, imperfect, but here. Because maybe the important thing is to keep showing up. Because each time, its simply an opportunity, no more, no less. And that sounds just perfect to me!

Can you stage your own ‘perfect protest’? What would be on your list?

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10 Comments

  1. You had to say this when I was just preaching to someone that I expected perfection in every step and in every endeavour.. Ha Ha! I know what you are saying though and for whatever it is worth, as a blog reader, I do not compare blogs. In my mind, I know what elements I like in each..in some it is photography, in others it may be simplicity…the best message is the one that is uniquely yours and though we share many things in common we express it each differently.
    So stop being hard on yourself.

    I don’t compare myself to others…my mom never let me while I was growing up and that has stuck with me. I probably should, you know, just to improve myself. : )

    Good to see you Kerin…xoxoxxo

  2. oh, i don’t EVEN want to get started on *this* subject. [ha] so i’ll just suffice to say, yes, i feel the way you do, too….

    thank you for speading out your feelings for me to read and grasp.

    xo

  3. i remember rewriting pages of my school reports because they HAD to look perfect.
    i remember loving coloring books but i would NOT allow myself to color outside the lines.
    i remember raising my hand in class then putting it down because i feared i might not have the right answer.
    i look back & mostly remember how hard i was on myself…how unreasonable i was to myself!

    i’m glad i’ve grown & opened up…enough to let go of some of these insecurities…
    i have learned that it’s o.k. to misspell (even on a blog post!),
    that coloring outside the lines doesn’t change the picture,
    that if i say the wrong answer i’m not an idiot.

    each & everyday i continue to learn to give myself permission…
    to let go, to be relaxed & free, to make a mistake, to love, & to color outside the lines.

    XOXO
    ~Nancy

  4. Mona!…no no no! :)…and thank you for the perspective on blogs…and everything in between…

    and Marie…so glad this touched something!

    and Nancy…there is this great little quote that goes ” you have to color outside the lines to make your life a masterpiece”….love it! it looks to me like you have already begun yours!

  5. Oh you are SO powerfully ‘enough’. You are a handful of sun, truly.

    I would rather read your balanced words and kind thoughts on the digital page than look at ten thousand lovely pictures.

    In my perfect protest I would take a stand against the voice inside of me that chides me when I sit down to read a book or have a day where nothing gets done: this is necessary, too.

  6. Funny how we can feel that way about others and yet others feel that way about us. Since finding you, I’ve held you high. I think you are an amazing person, what I know of you. Your work, your spirit, your kindness to someone who can be as difficult and wretched as I. It’s surprising to find that you too, have insecure moments and thoughts of inadequacy. . . but surprising in a warm, reassuring way- a way that shows we are all in this sort of flux-y state together.

    Okay, I don’t know if I’m even making sense. But this was a really touching post, Kerin, and I think you’re toe-to-toe with the best of them.

    Now then. Off to Amazon to buy me that book.

  7. Kerin, I think just about all of us feel this way, but not many have the courage to actually say it.

    Even the people who seemingly open their lives wide up on the public interwebs, do so through filters and veils. You’re really only seeing what they’re choosing to show. I think so much of it is staged and make-believe, I really do.

    And perceived inadequacies are just that, “perceived”. I have so much respect for you as a jewelry artist. I love the uniqueness that is Kerin Rose. What you do is so not “done, and overdone” like so much of the other stuff in our shared circle is 🙂

  8. I am thankful for the perspective you bring that is SO unique and SO you. I could speak a thousand words on the struggle of perfection (I – we – are so there with you, too often entrenched with the remains of an ideal that has no bearing directing our hearts) but I think I’d rather just give my [interwebular] shoulder to sit close with.

    I believe in what you are doing, what you are creating (and agree SO wholeheartedly with Alice!).

    And lastly, much like Sunny, if I were to stage a protest, it would include a huge amount of forgiveness for days “squandered,” reading magazines (instead of tomes), not feeling the studio, and eating cheese.

  9. ha!….Umberina! CHEEEESE!
    All I have to say is that I am beyond grateful for this gracious and generous company in this life…

    thank you all…for being here and being YOU….
    Namaste…I honor the beauty and light that exists within you all…

    ox

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