Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note.

This week I’m sharing an excerpt from Polly Campbell’s book Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People.

The story I’m featuring is actually one I’ve heard before. It was this summer at the Creative Joy Retreat. I remember scribbling it down in my journal, because it blew me away.

So many of us would love to wish away or erase our imperfections. We spend minutes or even hours yearning for something different — and maybe envying the people we believe have this something different.

If you’re currently in this place, I hope this story helps you reconsider.

A water bearer carried two pots of water along the path from the stream to the house. One of the pots had a crack in it and only arrived half full while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer.

“I am ashamed of myself, and sorry that I have been able to deliver only half my load. Because of my flaws and cracks I am not as valuable to you,” the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them.”

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without your imperfection, without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Our imperfections make up who we are — and they may be more important and amazing than we ever realized.

The moments we spend hyper-focusing on our supposed flaws steal the time we could be spending on embracing our imperfections, enjoying life and actually using these gifts.

You can learn more about Polly Campbell and her work at her blog.