The sun is shining, it's the second day of autumn, and I decided to take my writing outside this morning, on a bench overlooking Hampstead Heath. What I love most about the Heath? The grass is not perfectly manicured and the trees are not perfectly trimmed. I love its wildness and roughness, beautifully imperfect, just as nature intended it to be.
We don't look out into nature and see flaws. All we see is beauty. So why do we look for flaws when we look at others? Worse even, why is it that often flaws are all we see in ourselves!
This leads beautifully to a quote I read a couple weeks ago when I was in Corsica (where this photo was taken), which inspired me to write this piece.
"Flaws aren't real. One of our biggest mistakes as a culture is accepting that we have "flaws". We do not have flaws. We have differences, we have different paths of learning and growth. Why do we continue to perpetuate the degradation of our culture by accepting this mindset? There's no such thing as a flaw in a system where perfection does not exist".
Flaws, just like our strengths, I believe come under the bigger umbrella of "labels". When we say we are a certain way, we are labeling ourselves. That's all they are, just labels. Just like flaws, they are not real. We say that we are a certain way because someone along the way said that we were.
Our society is built around labeling us. From the moment we are born, and as we grow, our parents, families, loved ones, start to look for signs as to what "kind of person" we will grow up to be. He/she is the quiet one, the independent one, the outgoing one, smart one etc etc. We also each have star signs that love to define our personality traits as well.
"Everything you think about yourself, everything you believe about yourself, is because you learned it" Don Miguel Ruiz
Everything is impermanent however. We are the creators of our own life and we are constantly evolving. As Ana Forrest says very bluntly: Evolve or Die.
As a child and young adult, I was very stubborn and impatient. I am a Capricorn after all ;). When I read the flaw quote the other day, it got me thinking. Am I still stubborn? Sometimes yes. Am I impatient? Yes as well. But I am also patient, adaptable, flexible and soft. I am everything and anything I choose to be in every given moment.
Many of us will spend time asking ourselves the heavy and deep questions of "Who am I? What is my purpose on this earth?" Some even take time off and travel to do some soul searching.
The way I feel I can best describe my experience is to begin unlearning all we have learnt about ourselves. These labels, these personality traits, are a mask, a shield and they hide who we truly are. When we truly drop them and allow those unnecessary extra layers to peel off, all that's left is freedom.
We may even be surprised to learn that who we are, is whoever we want to be.
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