Controversy & Perfection

Flickr image by annais

I get in controversies sometimes because I don’t shy away from getting into controversies. Here’s a new one — it’s a blog post that doesn’t name me but it’s about me and I show up about 100 comments into the discussion. Even if you like following my controversies, this one is pretty confusing if you don’t know the context.

I’ve been fretting about it for a couple of days but now I’ve decided that it’s just the price I pay for pushing the envelope sometimes. If I let it slow me down, I’m doing anybody any good..

I’ve gotten so many nice emails & twets about this brouhaha and they far outweigh the negative ones. I got one surprising, thoughtful negative one and I appreciated that, too. (It was from someone kinda well known who I respect a lot and I didn’t think I was on their radar, really — hence the surprise.)

“Some people will like me and some won’t. So I might as well be myself, and then at least I’ll know that the people who like me, like me.” — Hugh Prather

Here’s what I’m stuck with: I’m me.

I’ve got plenty of faults. I’m not afraid to take risks and I screw up frequently. I don’t like being misquoted or misrepresented and when that happens, I say so. I’m not afraid of a fight. I don’t go down quietly. I can be off-putting. I can be divisive. Sometimes people find that my negatives outweigh my positives. I can go on like this for a while but that’s who I am and I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s okay.

It’s perfect, even. That means accepting the reality that I’m perfect. You’re perfect, too, by the way. No, really — you are. It’s really hard to accept and humans are the only things on the earth that even give the idea of perfection any thought. Rocks and kangaroos and ferns never worry whether they are good enough, much less perfect. They just do what they  do. And once you accept that, you can accept that perfect doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Weird, I know.

If I’m going to worry about putting myself in the best possible light or just being comfortable in my own skin, I think the smart bet is on comfortable. I write this in the hope that this message finds someone who needs it. Maybe even me.


  1. “I’m perfect. You’re perfect, too, by the way.” i love that. much better than that adage “nobody’s perfect.” i love the idea of accepting that i am just fine, as i am, as me. and yet i can still grow and change and learn…

    thanks lee. =)

  2. Hi Lee,

    I thought this post was poingnant and dignified. It takes a lot to not only be happy being who we are, but being honest about who we are.

    As someone who grew up spending countless hours trying to crack into the “group of cool”, and countless more hours wondering why everything I tried didn’t work, this post strikes me at my core.

    Honesty is scary, if we strip away and lay ourselves bare, there’s a chance people won’t like us, and that fear cements our mask. Removing that mask leaves you vulnerable, raw and subject to very personal criticism.

    However, it can also lead to some of the most amazing connections with people who see a sparkle of beauty and brilliance that they can relate to.

    It’s not all about what other people think, like you say it’s about being comfortable in your own skin. But from someone who has previously spent many a lonely night in a crowded room, and then lonely nights alone, when you put your honest self forward, it’s scary but it frees you from the shackles of pretending.

    When you finally see yourself looking around a table at faces of people who think that you are brilliant, regardless of your situation, pay check or online status, regardless of whether you’re up or down or out of public favour, it is a very rich feeling.

    The smart bet is definitely on comfortable.

    Thank you.

  3. If your writing helps you, and only you, it still helps the whole.

    The improvement of one life creates a tiny ripple effect of generating an improvement that can impact more.


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