Many of us live under the weight of a harsh inner critic and I for one am one of those people. I grew up in a household where I was expected to be perfect, smart and beautiful. At a very young age I learned that I had to be flawless in order to be loved and every time I did not meet the flawless bar, I was viciously reminded just how an inadequately damaged vessel of a person I was – in every sense of the word.

For YEARS, I embarked on a life journey of perfection so I could be “easy to love” and likable. But, I learned those efforts were fruitless. I twisted myself up into knots and found myself in situations where I was trying to fix what wasn’t even broken, was already unique, and beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, it’s natural to seek self-improvement, but on your own terms not based on societies or someone else’s version of “good/perfection.” I learned that my “work” to be that person’s version of perfection was an empty path because it was rooted in a belief that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. What I learned is, it is our flaws (warts and all) that make us human. All of our quirks and idiosyncrasies, quirky habits are all part of what make us WHO we are. Meditation has helped me to learn how to quiet the judgmental voice of my mother which I echoed so loudly and replaced it with compassion. It was then I learned to love myself for just the way I am – warts and all.

There’s a word in Japanese called Kintsugi which is an art form of putting broken pottery back together with gold – built on the premise of EMBRACING flaws and imperfections, one can create an even stronger more beautiful piece of art. I no longer view myself through the f*cked up lenses of my family or others, and instead I’ve embraced kintsugi as I live my life. Embracing all of the imperfections because fundamentally I’m good and my imperfections make me better, stronger and dare I say, more beautiful.

So, I invite each of you to remember there is nothing wrong with you. You are uniquely perfect exactly the way you are and those “imperfections” just make you stronger and more uniquely beautiful.

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