Wabi Sabi is the art of acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
I realize that I can’t be a perfect woman and I can’t be a perfect mother, so that is why I am attempting to learn the art of Wabi Swabi. Wabi Swabi is a term that describes the beauty to be found in imperfection. It originated in Japan , where artist’s will often leave tiny fractures in the glaze of a vase or on a bowl when they are creating it, as a reminder of the wabi-sabi nature of life.
Wabi-sabi recognizes that life is in a constant state of change, and that decay is as much a part of life as growth. “….Through the centuries, wabi sabi came to mean an approach to life and art that is in harmony with nature….recognizes the impermanence of life. It encourages us to be respectful of age, both in things and in ourselves, and it counsels us to be content with what we have rather than always striving for more…..” (Wabi-Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life, Diane Durston, author)
Wabi-sabi’s most important message is about accepting the impermanence of everything. It means that our children will change, and grow with or without our permission. It acknowledges that as the children grow, so too does the relationship change, and that change is not just okay, it is good.
Too many people live with regrets about all the things they did wrong, and what they could have done better. But you know what? There is not a darn thing you can change about what you did, all you can do is live in the present, and if you can live the wabi-sabi lifestyle, you can accept your imperfections and you can relax.
Do you live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction? I’ve seen people throw away perfectly good relationship’s as they search in vain for the “perfect” one. Then they will pine away for what they once had, and for what they’ve lost. If they had been living the wabi-sabi lifestyle, they would have been accepting of the imperfections in their friends, family members and mates.
Wabi sabi doesn’t mean settling, and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work to improve your lot in life, rather it is about balance and contentment rather than striving for the unattainable. It encourages us to accept the things we cannot change, and sometimes that means accepting ourselves for who we are, flaws and all! What about those other people you perceive are perfect? No one is perfect, it is an illusion. They are struggling too. We all are.
Some of the things I’ve learned along the way which help me to have a wabi-sabi lifestyle:
*I will relish the times that I enjoy because though I know that my moments of joy will pass I’ve also acquired the knowledge to know that my pains and sorrows will pass too.
*Life doesn’t go on forever. It may end tomorrow, it may go on for many years. I must live it to fullest extent that I can right now, realizing how precious it is.
*It is okay to just simply be with people I enjoy. I don’t have to worry about work that is undone, I just need to focus on the relationship. The dishes will still be there in an hour or two. They aren’t going anywhere.
*Do your best when it is required (such at work), realizing that your best is still not perfect.
*The best way to realize all of the above, is to hang out with wabi-sabi people. Stop making friends with whiners and gossipers, people who hold other people up to perfection (while not recognizing their own imperfections.) Hang out with people who love you for who you are, imperfections and all.
Here is some wabi sabi ways of dealing with people :
*How many fights occur between married people about silly things? Leave all that nonsense behind, and appreciate each other’s wabi-sabiness. If something irritates you, thank your lucky stars that you married an imperfectionist, because he is more likely to be wabi-sabi.
*You dislike a gift someone gives you: Graciously thank the giver, and as time goes on re-gift, or give it to charity.
*Difficult people who are not wabi-sabi are in your life (like your mother, for instance) and they are driving you crazy: Take a deep breath, suck it up, and put up with her anyway (at least temporarily.)
Those who have achieved wisdom during life’s journey will already be living the wabi-sabi lifestyle even if they’ve never heard of this Japanese art, the art that keeps heart disease and high blood pressure at bay, the wonderful art of wabi-sabi!