Body Image/Healthy Mind/Lessons Learned/My Life I’m Imperfect. And That’s Okay. by Mark Bocinsky “Mark, you are most lovable when you are imperfect.” These are the words still ringing in my ears from my most recent conversation with a priest. “We can repeat these words over and over but we will always struggle to believe them,” he said. My brothers and sisters, this is real life. We are most lovable when we are imperfect. What Are Your Imperfections? Since middle school my Dad told me to get straight A’s. When I got a B, he said I didn’t work hard enough. When applying for colleges, the bar was set so high, I had to participate in several clubs and take the SAT multiple times just to be smart enough. Trying out for the basketball team in high school was a real test of my worth, would I be good enough? Well, I got great grades; I was accepted to a great school; I played many varsity high school sports but was that going to make me feel like I was enough? I taught myself during those times how to earn recognition and praise. You see, before that, I was picked on, bullied and picked last for almost anything. But by the time I entered college, I had earned the respect of my peers. The problem is: earning love gets tired after a while. When we try to earn love, we always fall short. Anxiety and stress overtakes us because we are never good enough. How Do You Try to be Good Enough? What Effect Does this Have on Your Life? This false life of never enough permeates every aspect of our culture. When we pick out what to wear to school we ask, “Will others notice me?” When we step into the locker room to change out for sports we compare our body with that of others. When we get report cards… sports awards… drama or music evaluations… We are never enough. And when we do excel, there’s always some way we can (and “should”) improve. This never enough culture consumes us with shame. We feel that we are never enough and so we believe that we are not enough. The good news is: feeling is not truth. The truth is: we are good enough! Even before we do anything, we are good. The most important man who ever walked the Earth would join us for dinner and praise how awesome we are even before we did anything worthy of praise. Why? Because that’s how we were created: to be loved… we are beloved. “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:22). This is the beginning of our journey, knowing that we are loved beyond reason, without limit and without condition. When we live from this place, the place of communion with God the Father, through His son Jesus Christ, then we become capable of great things. How Can You Live Out of the Truth that You are Christ’s Beloved Son or Daughter? We are most lovable when we are imperfect. Join me in letting go of perfection. Letting go of trying to prove we are worthy. Don’t get me wrong. Strive to be good. Strive to do great things. Strive even for success. But each day, start with repeating in prayer, “I am good. I am loved. I am awesome.” Then, look at the Lord in your heart and let Him say, “You are great. You are SO loved. You are SO awesome.” Only after we accept that truth can we strive for great things. Then, when we fall short, which will happen, we fall back onto the truth of His love and not the empty net of never enough.