Thursday, October 23, 2014

An unexpected gift

Everyday experiences and objects can be our teachers. Have you discovered that, too?

In August one of my out-of-town granddaughters and I enjoyed another of our annual Grandma Days. One of the many fun things we did that day was each design a glass sushi plate at a glass-fusion art studio. We had great fun selecting the various colors of glass with which to decorate our plates, scoring and cutting the glass, and then laying out the design we each created. Our inner artists came out to play that day.

We didn't get to take the plates home since the fusing had yet to be done by the studio. Recently when I visited my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter again, I got to see the finished products and bring mine home. Olivia's plate was perfect. Mine was beautiful, too, but it had a little bump in part of the design where a tiny glass bead hadn't melted down for some reason. Everything else was fine except for that little knob of glass (really, only about 1/8 inch in diameter). It bothered me at first, and I was upset that it happened.

The more I thought about it, however, the better I felt about it. I've decided that not only will this plate remind me of the wonderful day Olivia and I spent but it will remind me of the importance of imperfection. Perfectionism is a heavy load to carry around. I know—because I did it for years. I'm trying to be OK now with being imperfect, and I'm learning about the gifts in that. I more easily take risks (reaching out to someone I might not have before, for example) because I don't have to worry so much about being perfect. I am more compassionate because I acknowledge my own flaws and am comfortable in my skin. I can better accept myself—and others.

There are many more gifts, too. If you want to read more about imperfection, I recommend research professor Brene Brown's book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are


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