The Art of Imperfection
The word for this week is…
Wabi-Sabi (n.) Japanese:
At its heart, wabi-sabi is a way of viewing the world which encourages the acceptance of finding beauty in imperfections and making the most out of life.
Wabi-sabi is “a way of life that appreciates and accepts complexity while at the same time values simplicity,” writes Richard Powell in his book, Wabi Sabi Simple. “Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”
Separated, on its own, “Wabi” can be defined as “rustic simplicity” with a focus on minimalism, and a less-is-more mentality.
“Sabi” can be described as “taking pleasure in the imperfect.”
We all have aspects of ourselves that we don’t like. Maybe you prefer being alone but you often find yourself lonely (hi, that would be me). Or maybe you think too much (hi again). But these things we don’t like about ourselves–these so-called “imperfections”–could very well be the best parts of us if we can see them in the right light.
Ask yourself, ‘What can I find beautiful about what I’m now calling a flaw?'” suggests Arielle Ford, author of Wabi Sabi Love. “And could you embrace that?”
Should I angle my head and look at my “imperfections” in a different light, I see that if it weren’t for these flaws, I wouldn’t spend so much time alone thinking a hole in the wall. Sounds bad, I know, but if I weren’t the way I am, I may not have started this blog; I may not have written several books, self-published 2, and have 2 more in the works; I may not have gotten a short story published, or be so obsessed with this passion.
People (especially Americans) are constantly looking at themselves through society’s lenses, endlessly striving for the perfect body or the most followers…
In today’s culture, where everyone’s chasing the sleekest, most expensive and technologically advanced lifestyle, wabi-sabi is everything the world isn’t.
People are always reaching for materialism, convinced it’s what they need to fill their emptiness and be happy. For me, I always chased it because I believed that that was what I needed to be seen as successful. But at the end of the day, all I have is an expensive receipt. At the end of the day, I’m only left feeling emptier because my expensive new toys aren’t changing a thing in my life.
It took me awhile to realize the fulfillment I sought wasn’t on shelves, but inside, hiding in the last place I thought to look: behind my imperfections.
“Word of the Week Wednesday” is quickly becoming one of my favorite installments I’ve done with this blog. It’s introduced me to so many unique and beautiful words that explain parts of myself I never even knew existed. Can’t wait to share them all with you.
Let me know what you thought of today’s word in the comments below!
Stop back by Friday for “Fiction Friday.”
Wednesday: Word of the Week Wednesday
Friday: Fiction Friday