Why We Should Love Practically Not Perfectly

As a parent, my children ask me a lot of questions. I do my best to say the right things and answer them the best that I can. I thought I was doing a pretty good job until I heard this interview with 12 year old Joshua Littman and his mom on StoryCorps.  Joshua has Asperger’s and his condition is assumed by most to offer some serious challenges.  However, his mom seems to have a different outlook. "You think differently then what they tell you in the parenting books.  I really had to think out of the box with you,” she tells him. Joshua asks her a question that is definitely out of the box for most kids.

“Have you ever lied to me?”

The mom’s answer was golden. “I probably have. But I try not to.  Even though some of the questions you ask me make me uncomfortable.”

“Some of the questions I might ask when we go on walks?” He asks.

“Yea,” she says. “But you know what? I feel like it’s really special that you and I can have those kind of talks. Even if I feel myself blushing a little bit.”

With a rise in social media and the constant comparison we are forced to draw of ourselves to other people each time we log on, we’ve begun to believe we need to be picture perfect. But what Joshua revealed here is that the most meaningful relationships evolve out of our flaws.

Joshua and his mom have bonded over imperfections. From her ability to admit that she most likely has lied to her willingness to talk to her son about stories that leave her “blushing,” this mom is teaching Joshua that it’s not about being perfect but being practical.

Let me explain.

To love others well, we need to be living rooms and not show rooms. If you’ve ever gone to look at an apartment or a house, the real estate agent usually takes you into this pristine perfect home and tells you how wonderful it would be to live there. They’re usually right, it’s perfect. But too perfect. Like you don’t want to touch anything or walk on the carpet. But then you go visit friends and they have their children’s toys on the floor and a little dust on the mantle and you feel like you can sit right down on the couch and hang out. It’s practical.

When we’re show rooms, no one feels comfortable to be themselves around us. They feel like we’re so perfect that their dirt may make us angry or disappointed. When we’re living rooms, we feel like a safe place. People can open up to us and be who they truly are.

Like Joshua and his mom, lets get out there and love each other uniquely, right where we’re at.  No standards or squeaky clean lives. Just messy, broken-in people who create room in their hearts to do this living thing together.

To learn more about living a life free from negative labels and unhelpful thoughts and patterns take a look at “Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide To Freedom.”

Mike Foster