Far From Perfect

Posted by in Explore Possibility on Apr 30, 2014


I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.

And that’s a good thing.

Perfection, at least the way our human brains try to define it, is an illusion.

On the other hand, everything is perfect exactly as it occurs.  This paradox is at the heart of our human story.

I’m a recovering perfectionist, raised by perfectionist parents, a child born to love weeds, wildflowers, broken shells and fragmented souls, asked to strive for perfection.  I tried, hard.  Or a part of me did. Yet somehow, the child who sat for hours watching bugs climb the tall grasses and tiny fish schooling in the shallows, the little girl who picked wildflowers, weeds and garden flowers together into messy bouquets was never far beneath the surface.

My most precious treasures are still bits of sea glass and broken open shells, their inner lives revealed by the vagaries of life. Nature is messy and imperfect, and breathtakingly beautiful.  So are we, just the way we are, right now, in this moment.  Because, even though WE cannot be perfect, ever, we CAN experience perfect moments.

I’m so far from perfect, I can’t even see it from here.  But I have a sea chest of memories, full of perfect moments, strung together like glowing pearls decorating my imperfect life.

They aren’t always pretty, those perfect moments; sometimes they contain exquisite sadness, bottomless pain or perfect storms of rage.  What makes them perfect?  That we are so completely inside the experience it is all we feel – the observer disappears.  The totality of feeling connects us with the infinite, the cosmic consciousness, the living web of all that is.

It is a fitting irony that we only intellectually perceive perfect moments once they have passed, because if we perceive them they end, as soon as the observer steps in the moment vanishes.

The notion of creating a perfect life, a perfect artwork, story, meal, garden, a perfect anything is a notion that separates us from ourselves.  It provides a grand illusionary goal that we can never reach, and so keeps us safe from having to put ourselves out there, while at the same time driving us mildly mad.  Our quest has no end, because perfection can’t be sought or created, it must be allowed.

Part of that allowing is realizing that perfection doesn’t look like what we think it does.  And it isn’t static, it can’t be pressed under glass or pinned to a board.   A perfect bud, frozen in time, can never become a perfect rose, can never become a perfect rose hip, can never become a perfect cup of soothing tea.

Don’t be afraid to shake the kaleidoscope ~ the next picture will be equally beautiful.

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