Last weekend, a bunch of friends and I (and Jim of course) went up to Cook Forest, PA. and rented a cabin in the middle of the forest. We’ve been to “Cook” many times but it never fails….the forest can clear my head and lower my stress level just by its very existence.
When we drove up the driveway to our cabin, I noticed a large tree at the edge of the property. It was spectacular. Tall and gorgeous, just like the other trees around it, only slightly different. Near the bottom of it, close to the ground, was a huge round mass of extra tree, a nature-ish wort, out there, like an elbow of sorts, for everyone to see.
So I spent some of the weekend thinking about imperfection. I thought of the times, in my younger days, when I had focused on what I thought was wrong with me instead of right. How I would wish for long, blond hair instead of the curly black hair I was given. How I wished I was less busty, slightly taller, and had less of a grecian nose. Looking back on it, maybe it was a by product of youth, to want what I did not have, or maybe it was a teeny self esteem issue, something lots of young girls suffer from in a culture based too much on perfection.
As I age, I realize there is great beauty in imperfection. Just like that tree. It makes us who we are and what we are. We learn to either get over ourselves or suffer eventually, from slight forms of mental anguish or too much botox. Recently, I have been making an effort to love myself fully for who I really am, and too, the person I am growing into. It has taken me years to appreciate my own endowed gifts- the same curly hair I used to try and tame, my slightly larger nose, my graceful legs from all the Greek dancing I did growing up.
When I love myself for who I really am, a beautifully imperfect individual, my unrealistic expectations fall away and I am free to use the gifts I have been given. And, to go forth and make the most of them.