There is no such thing as perfection.

Perfection as it is commonly understood is an illusory state of being, a static state that is sought in so many realms, by so many.  The pursuit of perfection in our skills/talents/abilities, appearance; in our jobs, in our relationships, in ourselves and in others — it is what creates disappointment and malcontent.  Striving for that Holy Grail of perfection is debilitating.  Even just harboring the expectation of someday having perfection in an aspect of your life can create an overall emotional malaise.

photo by Lisa Z Lindahl
Christmas cat

My parents created the perfect Christmas experience for their four children.  Or so it seemed to me, the youngest.   Many believe fashion models to have perfect faces and forms.  Men and women look and hope for their perfect mate.  Students strive for that “A,” the sign of a perfect performance.

And at this time of year, the start of a new year, a new cycle, we often look again at that far off shining “Perfect State of…”  whatever.  We resolve to do it…gain it…achieve it…capture it…

What is perfection?  Why do we desire it?

If we were to probe our expectations of perfection — what would we find?  Might that idyllic perfection we aspire to have been born from a seed, emotional or intellectual, planted in our past and a bit embellished by memory?  The (fill in the blank) would be, well, perfect!  The object/event/person would meet all criteria that somehow linger in the murky recesses of our craniums.  We’d be happy!  Hmmm.   Please, don’t get me wrong; I do think — know — that our innate impulse to do well or make something better is a productive one.  But are we able to recognize when something is, ah, complete?  Do we notice, linger in and rejoice in the resultant contentment?  Or are we too critical, searching — often subconsciously– for flaws and denying the possibility of completion, contentment?

I have fought my personal Perfection Demon.  I like to think I’ve made progress.  These days for me the idea of perfection is a different way of expressing what I call “high harmony.”  A bringing together of great synchronicities, producing a harmonious vibration (to put it in that parlance) that creates a new and pleasing event, in the broadest sense of the word.    But harmony is not static.  It is ever wavering, ever changing like the universe itself.  IMG_0061

This time of year I think of that “perfect” Christmas I experienced repeatedly as a child.  I have never been able to recreate it, of course.  At least that’s what I think, though I cannot truly know how the holidays my adult self helped to create were experienced by others.  And how were those long-ago Christmases for my parents, who stayed up all night on Christmas Eve to create the experience this child had?

Here’s the thing — and I’ll bet you know it — I am just reminding you:

Letting go of one’s past while also learning from it is the key to a happy present.  (No seasonal pun intended).   And that is often no easy feat.





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