Embracing the Imperfect


Heart Leaf Love

Heart Leaf Love

Oh, imperfect heart

So wildly beautiful

True essence of love.

I am a recovering perfectionist. A “B” on a report card would send me into a tailspin. I’d spend hours proofing a paper before turning it in. A case of “imposter syndrome” would paralyze me and prevent me from reaching for my goals. And, yes, it still does!

The Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi helped me get over my paralyzing perfectionism. Wabi-Sabi is all about accepting imperfection and getting the most out of life. Wabi can be described as rustic simplicity, while Sabi is “taking pleasure in the imperfect.” In Wabi-Sabi we are encouraged to focus on the blessings that may be hiding in our lives, the silver linings, and to celebrate the way things are as opposed to the way things should be. Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House says it is “true acceptance of finding beauty in things as they are.” She explains:

Bringing wabi-sabi into your life doesn’t require money, training, or special skills. It takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate muted beauty, courage not to fear bareness, willingness to accept things as they are — without ornamentation. It depends on the ability to slow down, to shift the balance from doing to being, to appreciating rather than perfecting.


Wabi-Sabi also refers to finding beauty in imperfection in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. It is simple, quiet, uncluttered and authentic.

I chose this image to represent Wabi-Sabi because of its imperfections. The leaf is showing signs of decay on the edges, but it is still simply beautiful, with nature’s gift wrap of raindrops on the surface.

I hope you’ll find Wabi-Sabi in your life, not only in nature, but within yourself. Embrace your imperfections and allow your authentic self to come out, with all of its glorious imperfections!

Here are some tips for bringing Wabi-Sabi into your home decor.