Struggling with perfection is difficult. Bombarded with images of perfection, we feel inadequate when we don’t measure up. You could hire an airbrush artist to follow you around, or you could take Gerard Way’s advice and look beyond imperfections.
Since we all love quotes (and since I’m curating hundreds of them for my Inspiring Happiness Quotes page), here are a few quotes and lyrics from former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way.
Look Beyond Imperfections
Happiness shouldn’t depend on anything external. If you think you’ll be happy only when you get something, become something, go somewhere or meet someone, you’ll be disappointed. You may experience some pleasure when you get, become, go or meet what you think you need. That’s pleasure, not happiness.
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
– Gerard Way
Pleasure fades, it waxes and wanes. Pleasure is phases of the moon. Happiness is the moon. Pleasure drifts in and out like the tide. Happiness is the ocean.
Don’t Wait for Perfection
If someone wants to get in shape because they think they’ll love themselves more when they get in shape, it won’t work.
People who are in shape don’t love themselves because they’re in shape.
Some don’t love themselves yet and they’re still trying to achieve some threshold of fitness or nutrition. Most are in shape because they love themselves.
When someone offers them junk food, they love themselves too much to consume the junk. When they’re tempted to skip a workout, they love themselves too much to skip the workout.
They’re fit because they love themselves.
They’re healthy because they love themselves.
Fitness doesn’t cause the love. Love causes the fitness.
Yearning for perfection instead of embracing and loving your current state only holds you back. That resistance, that wanting something else or something more prevents joy. Worse, it also prevents contentment and thus prevents happiness.
Looking beyond imperfections–even embracing them–loving yourself before you get, go or meet, won’t bring pleasure. It also doesn’t prevent pleasure. What it does is help you become content, and contentment can bring you happiness.
Sure, you can still work to improve yourself.
Find the joy in the work, in doing the right thing. Don’t save happiness for the result.
Problems with Pursuing Perfection
Obviously not alliteration! Check out those three Ps.
Pursuing perfection erodes your self-esteem, causes you to procrastinate and drags your happiness down into the gutter like a creepy clown offering red balloons.
Nobody floats down there, Georgie!
I’m sure their hearts are in the right place, but all those magazine, television and Instagram models showing you how perfect they are–and how perfect you could be too…
…you buy their product.
It chips away at your self-esteem, though, seeing how you compare to them. The girl on the photo and the girl in the mirror look different, and different isn’t good.
Different is Beautiful
You’ve heard all the hype about diversity, right? That’s because diversity is beautiful.
They want you to dislike yourself. They want to convince you that you’ll love yourself more (or at all) when you look like the models in the pictures. Perfection.
“Gravity don’t mean too much to me.
I’m who I’ve got to be.
These pigs are after me,
– Gerard Way, from Gravity
Yes, they’re after you. Don’t let their fake, airbrushed pictures keep you from happiness.
Perfection Breeds Procrastination
Waiting for perfection is procrastination. You don’t want to publish that article until it’s better, so you never finish and never move on to the next one.
You never play that new song for your friends because it’s not perfect yet.
The worst is when you don’t start better self-care because perfection keeps you from loving yourself yet.
It’s not, and I’ll tell you why in a few more paragraphs.
— IndependentlyHappy (@indyhayhay) July 4, 2019
It’s a vicious circle.
Because you’re not as perfect as they are, you don’t love yourself enough yet start what you want to start. Since you never start, you never acquire whatever it is you think you need to love yourself more.
Procrastinating doing what you want procrastinates happiness.
How to Embrace Imperfection
Don’t Listen to Plato
Plato proposed the Theory of the Forms. He proposed that ultimate forms of reality existed to represent ideal concepts. Liberty has its perfect Form. Happiness has a perfect Form. Puppies have an ideal Form. Everything in existence has a perfect, ideal Form that everything strives to become.
Maybe the forms existed, but on a different plane or realm. Maybe Thor could find them with his new hammer. The forms did not really exist. They were just ideals. Forms were something to move toward in theory, but not a barrier to actual existence.
Forms’ perfection didn’t mean less perfect realities were less beautiful or worthy of appreciation and love. They’re just abstracts, concepts or ideas. Not real.
Forms were just a way to help philosophers have something to complain about.
We are real, which makes us better than the Forms.
We are real, which means we’re more beautiful than the Forms.
Your imperfections make you better than perfect.
“Your imperfections make you better than perfect.”
– Shayne Seymour
Love Yourself First
So love yourself first.
You have to love yourself first. If you don’t think you can love yourself, do you want to love yourself? If you love yourself enough to want to love yourself more, then don’t you love yourself?
Did I just confuse yourself?
Don’t get spun up in the vicious circle. If you want to be healthier, love yourself enough to not put the junk food in your body. Don’t wait to love yourself when you’re healthier. Love yourself enough now to not eat the junk food.
Love yourself enough now to take breaks, get up and walk around instead of sitting and working all day.
if the music drowns you out
and raise your voice
every single time they try and shut your mouth.”
– Gerard Way, from Sing
Look past the imperfections. Embrace the imperfections.
For more quotes, check out my Inspiring Happiness Quotes page!