It occurs to me as I continue to look at my life as objectively as possible that I often hold myself to unreasonable standards of perfection. As much as meditation has softened me to situations and other people, I continue to take an unforgiving approach to my own thoughts, experiences, and even my own body.
The following is a pact I have made with myself to practice imperfection, to embrace the things about my real life I often try to strong-arm into compliance, and to be gentler with my own damn self. Please feel free to add your thoughts or to create your own pact:
- I will no longer, at a distance of a quarter-inch from my bathroom mirror, try to rid my skin of every last blackhead, flake of dry skin, and stray hair that may or may not exist
- I will not try to “make good time” everywhere I go
- I will not maniacally remove an otherwise fine manicure because of a microscopic chip nor will I discard articles of clothing because of pulls, small holes, and other minute imperfections; rather I will wear both with pride
- I will not scuttle after every Darwin-colored tumbleweed of cat hair that rolls across our matching hardwood floors
- When I step on a piece of cat food, people food, cat litter, or other unidentified object, I will not obsessively retrace my steps with a dust buster
- I will not try to anticipate every food, beverage, and entertainment need of my significant other, cats, or houseguests; rather I will place the onus on them to “use their words”
- I will (try very hard to) not obsess over the size, shape, and texture of various parts of my body
- I will not chase with a lint roller anyone who sits on our cat-adored couch
- I will not insist on finding a 10th way in which I will practice imperfection
yes, someone once said to me, that “we are all perfectly imperfect” and that is reassuring thought :)
Perfectly imperfect. I’ve got that one down pat!
Let me know if you want any help with this. I’m really good at imperfection :-)
Thanks for the offer!
A few of these really “hit home” with me, even though I know better.
We’re all works in progress, right??
Contemplating the inevitability of death can reduce the importance of perfection. I have to remind myself day in a day out that this is all an illusion.
That’s what it all comes back to, right?
I couldn’t agree more. Contemplating death and impermanence makes me a more peaceful and kinder person.
This is a great practice for me too. I often drive myself mad over the minutia, and so much of the time — it’s just not worth it. Thank you!
Another way to fill in the “spaces” and avoid just being
Think a lot of the drive for our need for physical/social perfection comes from the fear of being judged, so we judge ourselves first. Also, think our ego demands perfection, to twist us into a knot to it. I’m aghast that as a practitioner, I allow my vanity to rule my perceptions.
I hear ya, but rather than being aghast, I wonder if it’s possible to use this very situation to begin to soften towards ourselves? At least I feel that is what my most wonderful meditation instructor would suggest.
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