Friday, May 13, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect

Trying to be perfect is exhausting. Searching for perfection is exhausting. It is like swimming against an infinite current with no shore in sight. What leads people to feel the need to become “perfect”? Is it to feel better than? Is it to feel separate from? Is it to feel righteously enlightened to have or know that which others do not? I’m done swimming.
I have found through my defects and challenges that I find places for expansion. For growth. Perfect would be boring. I have a feeling it would be lonely. In my own reflection I assume that the desire for improvement would wane and then I would ripen on the vine eventually falling to the ground to rot and be forgotten.
In searching for perfection I must look beyond where I am. In casting my gaze outward, looking for that which is not here I miss the beauty that lies within the “almost-but-not-quiteness” that connects me to the present. It is the realization of a need to become aware of my shortcomings that keeps me mindful of my bond to others and that I share their space instead of a belief that I hover above them.
I have found that spirituality is not an evolutionary process of becoming more “divine” in my nature. To me it is a realization of what I am and that there is more to be unveiled. This perpetual revealing is where I find my desire for cultivation lies. It is a profound respect for my flaws and defects that become the catalyst for growth through an unending quest for understanding–an understanding that there is beauty in the flawed. There is character in the splintered. There is grace in the disheveled.
The Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi poetically represents this. It acknowledges that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. It is through this somewhat melancholy realization that a spiritual journey begins. As the perfect is elusive, the goal of improvement is engaged. The spiritual is finding the beauty in the unfinished points of interest along the way. The lessons lie in the souvenirs we obtain through life experiences–the skinned knees often relinquishing more value than the slam-dunks.
If beauty, love or spiritual connection were perfect, there would be one uniform standard. Some would have it, others would not. But as we see in beauty, love, and spirit, we can connect on a variety of levels that can only be denoted of significant value by those experiencing it. Those on the sidelines of these experiences must gain a wisdom that imperfection can at times be simply relevant to our own narrow scope of perspective, and that we may need to expand that perspective to draw closer to our own divine center.
I no longer want to be perfect. It would make me lazy. Then would I still be perfect? It makes my head hurt. I do know that I do seek a spiritual improvement on being led to a greater appreciation for the imperfection that makes life abundant with possibility, expansion, and connection. I also enjoy finding that I am not alone. We all have our nicks, dings, and dents. It is this weathering and antiquing of my soul that I feel gives me character. My trips and stumbles, falls and recoveries are simply stamps in my life’s passport. I have stories to tell.

I am Wabi-sabi. I am perfectly imperfect.


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Toyin O. said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing.