Making the Best of Imperfection in an Imperfect World
One doesn’t need to be a genius to know that the world we are living in is imperfect. I wonder though - how many of us are willing to admit that we too are imperfect beings, living in this imperfect world?
Think about it for a minute or two.
"Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows." - Nisargadatta
Most days we rise with the sun, put on our “face the world” persona and go about our business pretending that we are as near perfection as is humanly possible. Who are we fooling? Only ourselves perhaps.
In truth, we are far from perfect. That’s right. I’m talking abut you, me, a neighbor, or even the lawyer or accountant that knows far more about us than we would like. It is our nature to present ourselves to the world in ways that keep others from seeing who we really are. Is it vanity or pride? Arrogance or fear? Do we even know what lies at the root of our need to be perceived as perfect?
We are living an unnatural existence, pretending to be perfect. Our desire to appear perfect isolates us. In our quest to appear perfect, we have separated ourselves from a natural existence, where imperfection is acceptable and, expected. Oh yes, imperfection is “normal” and recognizing it allows us to learn, to grow, and, it gives us the tools to become the person we were born to be.
Can you imagine, for even a moment, that you are okay, just the way you are? How long has it been since you ran out of the house without make-up or that Vera Bradley purse. Do you dare? You say you are a liberated woman? Are you really? Are you liberated from the opinions of your community? Do you let them see the dark circles under your eyes from sleepless nights of worrying about finances? Have your friends seen you in that worn out old t-shirt, dirty hair pulled back in a ponytail? Would you tell them that your child needed you more than you needed a shower?
Has your husband seen you crying over the long days of meetings, deadlines, and unreal expectations of your boss? Did your boss notice the bruise on your wrist where your boyfriend pulled too hard when you tried to leave? And, did your daughter notice that you only glanced at the note from her teacher and made no comment about her concerns? Relax. If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are normal. You are an imperfect being living in an imperfect world.
You have a tough job. It can’t be easy being tough all the time and feeling like you can’t show emotion. What would the guys in the shop think if they saw you struggling with tears, wondering how you were going to pay the mortgage this month? Would they laugh at you because you can’t find the problem with the car sitting dead in your driveway and can’t afford to hire someone to fix it? Do they understand why you keep turning them down for that boy’s night out? No, you haven’t told them that your wife is in rehab and there is no evening childcare available to someone on your budget. Do you think they have guessed that you took that part-time job to help make ends meet and that is why you can’t hit the court with them on Saturday? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are normal. You are an imperfect being living in an imperfect world.
- Holidays: Hiding Behind The Masks
The holiday season is approaching and there is joy in the air. It is not a happy time for everyone and if you look around you, you will see those that wear the masks, hiding their fear or grief. Reach out.
Taking Off The Mask
There are solutions to this dilemma we have created for ourselves and it’s really not that hard to solve. We simply have to take off our masks, get real, and stop living for the sake of appearances. We are only fooling each other and - ourselves. There is no perfection in humanity. Perfection only exists in nature and if we keep expecting to find it in people, we will always be disappointed. Isn’t it time to stop the madness? There is freedom and joy in being exactly who you are. Will you dare to find it?
Spiritual growth comes from accepting our imperfections.
Rethink Your Life
Priorities change as we age but some of us don’t make the adjustment in our day to day activity. We know we feel differently but gosh, the world around us still thinks we’re the same. So what! Accumulating material things doesn’t excite us any more. Attending all those fancy corporate events is a bore. Our jobs no longer provide the same satisfaction and suddenly we realize we don’t have that same old competitive spirit anymore. Is that really so bad?
Where is it written that it’s not okay to spend more time with our family and less on the job? Who wrote the rules and said that if you don’t have too much stuff, you aren’t achieving? When did we determine that to lose a sale or a game made us a failure as a human being? Can you see how the simple act of asking ourselves a few questions can bring clarity and relieve the pressure?
Simplify Your Life
By now you may have noticed that this is not instruction manual on becoming perfect. No, this was never intended to give you the answers to all the struggles in your life. To give you the answers is impossible because – I too am only an imperfect being living in an imperfect world. I don’t have answers, only questions, but in asking them of myself, I am learning to accept my imperfections. They are many and for now, I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m so okay with it that today I’m going to leave the dishes in the sink, fix myself a snack, and watch a football game in my ragged old t-shirt and fat-pants. Those are the ones with enough stretch to encourage lounging and they bear the scars of years of wear and tear. They feel good on a lazy day and I haven’t had one of those in a while. I will not put on make-up, no matter who comes to visit and I will make myself a promise to give something away today that I don’t need anymore. Oh yes, I am becoming liberated from my desire to be perfect and I like it. Bring it on imperfection. This is real life and I am determined to enjoy the ride. Some may say that I’m no longer as pretty. Others will observe that I no longer need to be the top sales person or the best dressed at the party. In fact, I may never again be the best at anything but I think I will be okay with that. Being imperfect in an imperfect world is okay as long as I strive to be the best imperfect person I can be. The recipe for that is pretty simple and has only three ingredients – live, laugh, and love.
© 2013 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.