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Nobody’s Perfect?

May 22, 2009

Recipe for Perfection

Ingredients:

  • You
  • Yourself
  • More You

Directions:

Contemplate with me, if you will, the phrase, “Nobody’s Perfect”.

I know this phrase is supposed to make us feel better, like when we don’t look like a super model, don’t win first place in the spelling bee, are pressuring ourselves to be the best parent of all time, or don’t get the promotion we were seeking.

But I don’t believe it’s the right way to go.  In fact, I think all of us are already perfect.  How can we be anything but perfect?  Typing this I’m reminded of a passage from the Martha Beck book Steering By Starlight.  Instead of making you guess which passage I’m referring to, I’ll share it with you:

Most Asian cultures see human beings as innately good, born perfect but then pulled off course by false beliefs, unfounded fears, and other delusions. The Judeo-Christian tradition that undergirds Western philosophy sees humans as innately imperfect, born with all sorts of problems (original sin, carnal nature, ignorance of God’s laws) that must be rectified and controlled if we are to become worthy. From a Western perspective, setting the original self free is shocking and dangerous: “Why, if we just act from a place of freedom, we’ll asll be pillaging and looting by nightfall.” In Asian psychology, pillaging and looting (etc., etc.) come from a place of delusion, from imagining ourselves as separate from others, so that our welfare and theirs are disconnected.

Okay, now that I typed that I’m not sure that explains any better what the heck I’m talking about when I make the claim we’re all already perfect. I suppose what this passage reminds me is that many of us are raised with the idea that there is something wrong with us and that we have to do something to fix it.

Really?  Do we have to fix anything about ourselves?  If you’re miserable you may very well want to “fix” something, but your misery doesn’t make you imperfect.  Most likely, you’re living a life that doesn’t fit with your Essential Self/Inner Being/Soul/Whatever you personally want to call it. But that part of you that pushes you towards your best life, that’s always there.  And it’s perfect. Even when you screw something up royally and fall flat on your face, you’re still perfect.

You don’t have to change anything about yourself to be perfect.  In fact, if you start living as if you’re already perfect (hold on now, I don’t mean you become completely full of yourself and treat others like crap, I mean you love and cherish yourself and tell yourself regularly that you are doing exactly what you need to be doing) I bet you’ll feel much better. And when you feel much better you’re likely to treat everyone else in your life much better.  You’re going to treat yourself much better.  You  might even lose the 50 pounds that have been plaguing you and making you “imperfect”.  You might leave the job that you keep screwing up on for something that truly want to do.

Try it out.  Just for today, tell yourself you’re already perfect.  That “mistake” you made at work?  You’re still perfect.  Learn from it and move on.  When you yelled at your dog for messing on the carpet?  You’re still perfect.  Learn from the bad feelings you had after that yelling doesn’t solve problems and move on.  I bet at the end of the day you’ll feel pretty darn good, and that’s the whole point of seeking perfection in the first place, right?

Be Joyful!

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