Being a lifetime perfectionist, it’s taken a lot of bumps and turns in the road to accept the perceived imperfections within myself and in life. I’ve learned that it’s the imperfect qualities that often set us apart from the pack, define who we are and teach us. Laughing at my mistakes is a wonderful tonic and tool me deal with these stresses in life. I had the opportunity a few years ago to practice this. I was on a cruise with my family to celebrate my parent’s wedding anniversary. A few days out to sea I decided to treat myself to a body wrap in the ship’s spa. It was my first body wrap, but I’d had facials and massages so I felt like I knew what to expect.

I made my way to the luxurious spa at the appointed time and the receptionist greeted me cordially. The tranquil sounds of a waterfall started to work wonders on my state of mind, when my therapist Hans appeared at the door. He was the picture of Nordic perfection: young, tall, tan and blond. After guiding me to the beautiful treatment room, he pointed to the pile of soft fluffy towels on the table, told me to disrobe and said he’d be right back.

I quickly covered myself with the large, cushy towel. Then I put the paper cap that was provided on my head to cover my hair – just like I do back home when getting a facial. But, this cap was different. It had two large holes on top. I assumed they were for ponytails or some other hair related function. When Hans returned he took one look at me and suppressed a laugh. He politely pointed out that the “cap” I was wearing on my head was actually a paper panty.

I was so embarrassed. I didn’t ever want to share this story with anyone. But, to my dismay, I opened my mouth the next day and the whole tale just poured out in front of my entire family. They exploded in laughter. Instead of crawling under the table, I enjoyed seeing them have a good laugh at my expense. They hadn’t laughed out of disrespect. They all identified with the humanness of the situation.

Maybe we’re too hard on ourselves. We expect life to flow happily, and we get upset when things go wrong. We get angry when others make mistakes, especially if they work for us, run our company or government. We hate it when it rains during our vacation. But, if you think about it, it is the unexpected twists and turns that make life interesting and memorable and help us to grow.
We also learn to accept and love each other because of our imperfections. Our imperfections define us – characterize us and humanize us.

I remember a scene from the movie, “Good Will Hunting.” Robin Williams is sharing his feelings about his wife who died two years earlier. He says, “She used to fart in her sleep. One time she farted so loud, she woke herself up.” Williams said, “I didn’t have the heart to tell her, so I apologized, as if I’d done it.” When William’s character thought about his wife the imperfections were the things that he loved most about her. Our imperfections make us more loveable.

In the same way, life’s imperfections can have a silver lining. Not surprisingly, I was very upset when my luggage was stolen. Some of my most beloved items of clothing were in that bag. When I went shopping to replace them, I found new styles and colors I liked even more. It caused me to reconsider my entire wardrobe. I sorted through my closet and removed about 1/3 of the clothes, because they were only useful or practical – not fun. My stolen luggage experience helped me revamp my look and brought an adorable jean jacket into my life.

Life’s imperfections are the flux that makes it interesting and exciting. They are the things that teach us. I have many happy memories from the anniversary cruise with my family. One that I will never forget occurred while I was boarding a bus my family rented in France. They made sure that I was the last one to get on the bus. As I stepped inside my entire family greeted me, all wearing paper panties on their heads. I shared the love, the community, the endearment and the delight that could only be generated by them reliving my most embarrassing moment with me.

I’m learning to embrace those imperfect times in my life; and those unusual aspects in others as the coloration that enlightens, amuses and makes life more enjoyable. I work to rejoice in my imperfections and the mistakes that I make – and even laugh at them. They house my lessons, and add the meaning and spunk to life.

Author's Bio: 

Deborah Hill has been actively involved in the healing & coaching of others throughout her adult life; first as a Registered Nurse and Nurse-Midwife, and finally as an intuitive coach, author, speaker, teacher, energetic therapist and artist. Her extensive life experiences include 4 degrees in science and psychology, 18 years as an entrepreneur running her own business, and raising her wonderful, grown daughter as a single parent.

Deborah has extensively studied many forms of natural and traditional healing, as well as counseling, coaching and spiritual disciplines with several teachers over the past 35 years.