“The moment will arrive when you are comfortable with who you are, and what you are– bald or old or fat or poor, successful or struggling- when you don’t feel the need to apologize for anything or to deny anything. To be comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength.”
― Charles B. Handy
At what point in our lives can we say that we are truly comfortable in our own skin?
Are we ever content with who we are and what we are, or do we spend our lives striving for perfection?
Is perfection really attainable, or is it an illusion?
Does the continual quest for perfection set us up for failure?
What is perfection?
Perfection is, of course, subjective.
For example, a successful billionaire may live a lifestyle that ― to the rest of us ― appears to be a wonderful fairytale existence but, if asked the question “Are you comfortable with who and what you are?”… he may surprise us all by saying “No. My life is too complicated, too demanding. I’d rather live by myself on a houseboat, with a collection of good books, some jazz CDs, a well-stocked bar filled with single malt scotch, and a stash of Cuban cigars.”
It is one thing to try to be the best that we can be. It is quite another to seek something that, for one reason or another, will never happen.
There are people who spend their whole lives chasing dreams that they’re not suited for and can never realize… like the person who wants to be a dancer, but has two left feet or an aspiring opera singer who can’t hold a tune. Rather than focusing on what they can do, they are obsessed with an illusion. They set themselves up for failure, and unhappiness.
Being happy and content with who we are and what we are does not necessarily mean that we’re complacent or stagnant. There’s always room for improvement. We should always be flexible enough to welcome change.
We are human. Therefore, we are flawed and imperfect. We strive to be the best we can be, to live the best life we can possibly live. Our life experiences and relationships help to form who and what we are. The point in our lives when we can say we are truly comfortable in our own skin varies from individual to individual.
Personally, I am pretty comfortable in my own skin. I have no illusions. I know my strengths and my flaws. Some flaws are part of who I am, and I embrace them. Other flaws still need some adjustment. As for what and where I am ― at this moment in time ― I’m not there yet, but I know I’m moving in the right direction. I’ll get there, eventually.
How about you? Are you comfortable in your own skin?
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
I love this quote by Steve Maraboli. I’ll add one of my own, taken from my blog post back in April 2012 ― “The Story of Your Face“ ….
“When you stand back and look at someone, really, carefully, you’ll notice that her (or his) face tells a story. It’s the story of a life — well-lived or not, beset with tragedies or joys. A roller-coaster of experiences that can be discerned in every laugh wrinkle, frown line, deeply-etched pain crease and sometimes, like a surprise rainbow, a dimpled cheek followed by lots of )))).
Every line across your face tells a story. Mine certainly does. If you look very carefully.
Don’t erase those lines. Despite the latest beauty fads or what the trendy plastic gurus babble on about, your lines are beautiful.
After all, they’re who you are.”
— Heather Joan Marinos, heatherfromthegrove blog post “The Story of Your Face“
Photo via justjennee.com.