Deficiencies, blemishes, and faults are what make us lovable, yet we’re constantly told by ads and media that blemishes need to be covered up, eradicated, and hidden. The reality is the bumps, oddities, and faults in each of us is why we’re able to form bonds and relationships.
Think of it in terms of painting or wood finishing. Before paint can adhere to a surface, the surface needs to be roughed up. WIthout the grooves and crevasses created by the sand paper, the paint would fall off the surface. It’s why painting a finished piece of glass can be easily scraped off. Glass is smooth, finished, and lacking dimensional depth.
Relationally, this is an odd paradox. Most of us strive to be without the need for others, yet cannot last very long on our own outside of relationships. The difficulty is that some of the rough spots and patches in our lives that make us lovable are very tender, swollen, and in lots of pain. You can love me all you want, but don’t touch too long or hard on these spots or I’m going to react accordingly.
So why are we afraid to be deficient? Because perfectionism, performance, and having it together are celebrated as tenants of successful people. Rarely will you see a rock star, public figure, pastor, or other famous person exposing their bumps and bruises authentically. It’s just not what we naturally do as humans. Yet all great stories are great because they contain rocky sections, failures, or deaths.
The great “success stories” aren’t great because of the end, but because of the process and journey taken. If you want to love and be loved, you’ll have to get cozy with your faults, and others’. If you’re perfect, you don’t need me and I don’t have anything for you. Blemishes don’t work well to sell magazines, but they show us that we people are indeed human. When people can see that you’re human just like they are, friendships are born.