There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Those are a portion of the lyrics from the 1992 song, Anthem by Leonard Cohen. In listening to this song, I was reminded how—especially as women—we beat ourselves up for our lack of perfection.  Perfection in appearance. Perfection as a mother. Perfection as a partner, co-worker, friend, child, sister, employer and anything else that comes to mind on any given day.

We look at Instagram photos at our “friends” who are living “perfect” lives.  We look magazine photos of models and celebrities who have “perfect” bodies and clothing.  We look at books and magazine articles that coach us in how to live the “perfect” existence how to be the “perfect” mother, wife or girlfriend.  What is “perfect” anyway? Is “perfect” possible? Does “perfect” lead to happiness? Who decides what is “perfect” for you?

Listening to this song, Anthem, brought to mind the perfection in imperfection.  Without those cracks—imperfections—how can we express the light within us? Without cracks, how would we be our unique selves and what makes us special? How would we not be a carbon copy of anyone else that hasn’t had our challenges, rewards, pain?

Those cracks are your reminder that you still exist.  Despite hardships, seemingly endless tears, and horrible times you thought you couldn’t survive, you are still standing and contributing to others’ lives.  Every time you were knocked down, you got up; maybe with shaky legs and maybe very slowly, but here you are reading this little passage and still feeling. Feeling what it’s like to have overcome difficulties and be brave.

I salute all of your beautiful cracks.  Let your light shine!