Be kind and show our real, imperfect faces

Feb 27, 2022 | Columns

kinsaguro - Japanese pottery Photo by Riho Kitagawa on Unsplash

A few months ago, I went on a spiritual retreat and on the first night the leader read Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” This Old Testament verse, is almost a mindfulness mantra now.

But then, she went on to say, in some translations that verse becomes, “Stop striving and know that I am God.” Whoa!

Striving? Like ambition? Like wanting? Like trying to look good? I am a striver. I strive to be more, do more, have more, even be more spiritual. Since that retreat, I’ve been thinking a lot about striving, especially how we push each other — intentionally or not — to strive more.

Yes, we pay lip service to embracing imperfection. We quote Brene Brown, who tells us that vulnerability is our superpower. But we even say that with a certain pride, “Look how vulnerable I’m being.” We admire the Japanese art of kinsaguro — you’ve seen pictures of the broken pottery with mended with pure gold, cracks gleaming. “See how beautiful imperfection is.”

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