Often, our relationships become an unrealized quest for what is perfect, unfettered, and free of flaws. We expect our partners, spouses, and our friends to avoid missteps and to be magical mind readers. These secret expectations play a sinister part in many of the great tragedies of our lives: failed marriages, dissipated dreams, abandoned careers, outcast family, deserted children, and discarded friendships.We readily forget what we once knew as children: our flaws are not only natural but integral to our beings. They are interwoven into our soul’s DNA and yet we continually reject the crooked, wrinkled, mushy parts of our life rather than embrace them as the very essence of our beings.I once believed that aiming for perfection would land me in the realm of excellence. This, however, may not be the trajectory of how things happen. In fact, the pursuit of perfection may be the biggest obstacle to becoming whole.It seems essential to value hard work and determination and yet recognize that the road to excellence is littered with mistakes and subsequent lessons. Imperfection and excellence are intertwined. There is joy in our pain, strength in weakness, courage in compassion, and power in forgiveness.