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How to Accept an Imperfect Life

by Katherine Keyes 6 days ago in coping
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With its flaws and failings

How to Accept an Imperfect Life
Photo by Fernando Lavin on Unsplash

We will our lives to be perfect, but that is only a shimmer on the surface of things. The world is shifting, always, as we speak. And our lives with it. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But shifting regardless. That is the only constant in this world; it's forever changing.

We all strive for the better. A better tomorrow. A better life; a life of growth and progress. Such life is supposed to ensure our happiness from achieving all the good that life has to offer. We are told to always lead a positive lifestyle and to shun negativity. The negativity is anything and everything that stands in the way of infinite progress. And in the way of infinite happiness and good feelings.


Is it any wonder then that so many people get depressed? Here’s the thing. By pretending that life is good and only good, we give ourselves a feeble consolation, an escape from reality.

We will our lives to be perfect, but that is only a shimmer on the surface of things. The world is shifting, always, as we speak. And our lives with it. We do not know what tomorrow is going to bring.

The truth is that for the majority of us, in this lifetime, there is not only the experience of goodness but also the experience of loss, sorrow, sadness and tragedy.

Yet somehow, nothing is more alien to us than accepting the darkness, in ourselves and in others. We’d rather live in an illusion that everyone is getting by just wondrously. We only ever want to hear about everyone doing well, happy and joyous. We are uncomfortable watching others struggle.


People are often ashamed to tell anyone they are feeling depressed. It’s almost as if the entire society has a phobia of sadness. People often do not want to hear other people's sad stories. People just want the sadness and bad stuff to go away, afraid it’s going to stick. We are all expected to go into hiding during difficult times. Not to bother others. We are supposed to talk to therapists about it. Not our dearest and the closest ones. And we are also supposed to get better fast. There is a deadline for how long we are allowed to stay sad for.

We want to be saved from anything causing us discomfort. That is a pretty notion, but is it realistic? Unfortunately, such acts of folly cause us to focus our efforts on that which is unattainable.


In reality, we cannot exit from this world as is: great, but also dreary. Yin and Yang.

Instead of wasting our energy on always trying to be positive, we should learn to embrace the negative too.

We should accept that whatever has happened to us, both good and bad, has shaped who we have become. We should not deny ourselves the right to acknowledge our life in its fullness and complexity.

Shushing away feelings of unrest and hurt, and sweeping them under the carpet only leads to anger and resentment. And long-term mental health issues. We all are the sum total of all our experiences.


After all, life is beautiful, but it’s also not. Strength is when we are prepared to accept life’s struggles so that we are equipped to cope with them. Waiting for the perfect life is like chasing a chimaera. You could spend aeons chasing after it, missing out on living the life you’ve got. And that is a high price to pay.


About the author

Katherine Keyes

Writing about well-being, self-care and psychology. Occassional poet and fiction writer. Based in Prague. Passionate about coffee, yoga, reading and Toastmasters. Native speaker of Czech, fluent in English (as a second language).

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