As someone new to the whole world of blogging I am constantly striving to become a better blogger/writer (I am not sure that the two are actually one and the same, but I am going to pair them up anyway!). One of the things I have done to improve my skills is to read through the posts I have already written. I like to look back, removed from the euphoria that comes with new creative output, and see what worked and what didn’t. In doing this I noticed some things that I liked, and some things I will strive to change. I also noticed a trend. It seems like a lot of my posts give off the impression of a guy who has it all together. Someone who has, or at the very least thinks he has, all the answers. So I wanted to write something very different from that in today’s blog.
Before I go too far, I want to say for the record that I am blessed beyond anything I have ever, or could ever earn. I have a beautiful,loving wife, two healthy kids who are full of life, a job that supports us, and family and friends who stand by us. That doesn’t mean my life is perfect. Perfection, for any of us walking this big blue marble, is unattainable. That doesn’t mean that we don’t get caught up in the pursuit of it. Like some Quixotic quest, we attempt to slay a foe that does not exist. I, for one, struggle with this concept mightily. As a creative person, I am compelled to write, to paint, to draw, to make music, and to sing. There is a side of me, though, that can only see the flaws in the results of these compulsions. In turn I struggle with my confidence. Am I creating something that matters, or am I just going through some self-satisfying routine? Am I as good as the person next to me?
I also have to admit to being very weak willed at times. I have a soft spot for sweets. I have less of a soft spot for exercise. As a result I have rather large soft spot in my middle! I have at times succeeded in shedding those pounds, sadly I am currently back on the wrong side of the scale. Another thing, I have a tendency to take the easy road to avoid conflict as well. I hate it with a passion, and it has landed me in more trouble than it has ever led me to avoid. There’s more. I have a hard time being patient and compassionate with the people I love the most. I can be the epitome of virtuous patience for a complete stranger, but I find it hard to extend that same patience to my children or my wife. Why is it I can afford this to someone who I may never cross paths with again, but for the people I live my life alongside, whom I love deeply, I find it so hard to give? I am a deeply flawed individual, no doubt.
So, what am I saying? Woe is me? Why can’t my life be better? How do I fix myself? Not at all. More than anything I just want to be real about my life, and share some of my struggles. I don’t ever want to give the impression that I am something I am not. I AM flawed. I AM conflicted. I commit when I know I can’t follow through. I sin. I hurt people I love. I mess up constantly. If ever I give the impression that I think otherwise about myself, well that is just another example of my mistakes.
I also know that this is the same story we are all living. None of us are perfect. The world would like to tell us otherwise. They also, coincidentally (wink, wink) have a product that can help us achieve that. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation. We all know this deep down, but it somehow doesn’t stop us from trying. I think that is ok. Striving to be a better person is never a bad thing. I just hope that we can all learn, myself included, that falling short of that impossible goal is not only OK, it is the ONLY outcome possible. The thing that helps me reconcile this is my faith. I believe in a God that knows my imperfection and grants me forgiveness for when I fall short. I follow a Savior who has already paid for my mistakes. Knowing that my maker made me perfectly imperfect, that my flaws and struggles serve a purpose, well that certainly changes the perspective for me. I don’t always keep sight of that, but then again, maybe even that flaw serves it’s purpose too.