Imperfections are part of the display of life. Joy and sorrow, birth and death are the dance of existence throughout which our awakened consciousness can shine. Yet we long for perfection. The perfect partner, house, job, boss, and spiritual teacher. And when we find them, we want them to stay that way forever, never to lose the glow, never to grow old, never to have the roof sag, the paint peeling. We’re also taught to seek perfection in ourselves.
Novelist Florida Scott Maxwell writes, “No matter how old a mother is, she looks at her middle-age children for signs of improvement. ” You are told that if you do enough therapy, work out at the gym, eat an especially healthy diet, watch documentaries on TV, manage your cholesterol, and meditate enough, you will become more perfect.Forget the tyranny of perfection. The point is not to perfect yourself. It is to perfect your love. Let your imperfections be an invitation to care.
For things to reveal themselves to us,
we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Yes to both. So difficult though to give us our preconceptions.
I imagine this is what The Middle Way calls us to contemplate. May we hold a little more lightly.