A source of dissatisfaction with oneself often comes from comparison to others, and seeing only stark differences in appearance, ability, or possessions. It seems easier to appreciate the positive qualities in others, and see, disapprovingly, our own perceived flaws. Considering the Japanese wisdom of wabi-sabi can help us appreciate the beauty of our imperfection. Wabi-sabi acknowledges the beauty of anything in its most natural form as it changes over time.
“Wabi” refers to flaws, imperfection, and the impermanence of everything. “Sabi” means the effect that time and the aging process have on any object, that gives it more character, uniqueness, individuality, and greater value.
“Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect.” Richard Powell, author of Wabi-Sabi Simple.
We can remind ourselves that everything changes over time, and that we must try to see value in our life stages, wisdom gained through reflection on our life experiences, and to appreciate the beautiful imperfection of our natural state. Every phase of life is precious. Having self-worth can empower us to use and expand our strengths, recognize and appreciate inherent flaws in all of us, and create a mosaic reflecting all we can do – and be – together.
Time can turn functional objects into art and well-tended gardens into wild spaces.
Spring buds on trees become summer leaves and then crunchy ground cover in autumn. We marvel at the most colorful leave and press them between pages in books, savoring the exquisite uniqueness of each leaf.
As we move through the seasons of life, we too become more beautiful and distinctive in our natural state, weathered yet resilient.
Let us appreciate who we are and who we are becoming, cherishing our individuality and commonality, our wit and wisdom… the pressed leaves in our book of life.
I included this just to share the beauty of the 12-acre farm where I lived with my little bantam chickens and rejoiced in the solitude and solace of nature, while healing and rejuvenating. It was a most wonderful time in life!