The Pursuit of Perfection

A decade ago, I woke up to the fact that I had been expending an enormous amount of energy in pursuit of perfection.  I was standing in front of The Dime Store in our Brookside Neighborhood ready to walk into a 3rd store in search of the perfect napkin.   A $2.99 purchase.  I was stressed, racing around in my attempt to make the gathering I was to host, nothing short of perfect.  But at what cost to my peace of mind, much less to my soul?

At that moment, standing by my car, everything went into slow motion.   I watched myself stressing about something so utterly unimportant yet all consuming.  In disbelief that I could be in such a stupor, I woke up, walked into the store directly in front of me determined to end my search with “good enough”.   I put the napkins out at the party that evening & watched as a part of me was aware of how the colors were not quite right.  No one else even remotely noticed, but I did.  I was conscious of the fact that it continued to bother me – just the kind of red flag that tells me this was one lesson I needed to take to heart.

So I began practicing letting go, in small “unimportant” ways, of my pursuit of perfection.  Letting “good enough” be “good enough” was difficult at 1st then became easier with practice.   My focus began to shift from the unimportant to the important.   I began to enjoy the moment more in a relaxed sort of way, had more energy for what was important & began to actually take myself less seriously. What I most cherish from this awakening was I began to laugh at myself & my silly quirks.  What a relief it was to let go of the pursuit of perfection.

But what if we have perfection all wrong?  What if perfection is something entirely different?  What  if perfection IS what IS?  What I mean that is, what if each moment regardless of what it holds for us, IS perfect?  What if the bumps, the bruises, the disagreements, the struggles, as well as, the joys are perfect?  What if they are exactly what we need to learn, grow, wake up and make a difference and without them our lives are perfectly imperfect lacking all the components of an exhilarating, meaningful life? What would happen if we welcomed the challenges as friends not foes & embraced what they had to teach us?   What if this IS the way things are meant to be?

I, for one, am banking on it.  I have come to believe that whatever finds us, no matter how impossible it may seem, is there as our teacher.  Not to abuse or misuse but to awaken & challenge us to our potential.  It hasn’t been easy to see things this way & I must admit I’ve gone through periods of time when I lost sight of this truth.  But in hinds sight, I can honestly say, that the most painful experiences have been my most beloved teachers.  The lessons, while, difficult beyond words, have been perfect.

So here’s to embracing all that presents itself in 2012 as perfect!

 

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