Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Perfect is Not Always Nice
Ten years ago, I experienced a particularly frustrating day getting angry with my family about having to clean up after them again. Later, after everyone else had gone to bed, I lay on the sofa, looked out into the darkness and asked for help in understanding what was actually going on, what was I really frustrated about? It didn't take long for the phrase to come to me, "Perfect is not always nice". This was repeated many times and I recognized just how profound it was. The word 'perfect' often conjures up positive associations - the perfect home, the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect self. What's not to like about 'perfect'? However, I was expending so much energy trying to achieve a state of perfection with perfect children, a perfect home, a perfect life, that I wasn't taking much time to appreciate what was actually there in the moment, and of course, that state of perfection never arrived. It doesn't exist. What did exist for me were my constant companions of anxiety, frustration and anger. Once I started letting go of the notion of 'perfect', I found that I was able to enjoy life much more. I didn't give up wanting to do well or work on improving a situation, but I did start focusing more of my attention on what I already had, and this allowed me to be at peace more often and deeply appreciate my life.