“Nothing is perfect” has been a statement that we may have heard too often, maybe too many times to the extent it became an apologetic axiom. This statement has become so widely spread, that it has become a reasoning (or maybe an excuse?) for the times we feel that we may have not stood up to some perceived expectation or to some measured appreciated values. Then, as widely as it is used, this statement must be correct. Right?
But what if perfection is not an external comparison but an internal reflection of what we really want to do? What if perfection is not about our perceived expectations? What if perfection is a bridge between our deep heartfelt wishes and our actions? What if perfection is the true meaning of who we are? What if we can meet ourselves exactly at the place we are at this moment?
Soooo many “if”s… What if we find the courage to remove all the “if”s above and turn all these questions into powerful statements? It may not be an easy process, but it is likely to show us a different perspective on how we want to live our lives, perhaps even motivate us to make some changes….
Perfection is not an external comparison but an internal reflection of what we really want to do.
Thinking about perfection, comparison is always a companion. It is very hard to separate these two. When we are trying to be perfect, we are seeking to be better than some external idea which we perceive as worthy. It may seem as if we are chasing something that has no connection to ourselves, trying to measure up to it, while disregarding our basic material – our dreams, our hopes, our values. Then, we keep being disappointed for not achieving this perceived perfection, simply because these external ideas keep changing with no connection to our being.
Taking the time to touch and reconnect to our values, hopes and dreams can help us understand how we want our lives to be. Shifting internally, taking the time to learn and appreciate our unique thoughts, ambitions and aspirations require some investment, which, many times, includes what we try to avoid.
Doing Nothing was a major thing I tried to avoid, simply because I grew up with amazing parents who do not regard any work as hard, and I have been taught to be productive and proactive: there is always something to do or someone to help, and it is never too hard to do everything.
As I started to do NOTHING for a whole hour every morning, It was astonishing to notice how, by the end of the day, I managed to finish all my planned tasks much faster and much more efficient than I did before.
I became more focused. I started to understand priorities. I understood what really requires my attention and what is just noise. I also realized that only when I learned the art of doing NOTHING I discovered that I exist. Discovering that I exist allowed me to look inside and understand what I really want to do, and it had no connection to what others around me aspired to do with their own lives.
Finding the courage to be who we are and understanding that no one can be like us, or we cannot be like anyone else, is the first step to allow perfection into our lives.
Perfection is not about our perceived expectations.
Don’t we all have this perception about how our life should look like? and perhaps this perception creates expectations for how our day should be going?
On one of his beautiful zoom coffee meetings (THE best coffee in town! even for those like me, who usually like tea…), a dear friend and wise man, Rabbi Avrohom Susskind of Novi-Northville center for Jewish life, talked about what makes a day a good day. According to Rabbi Susskind, the definition of a good day is not necessary when everything works as we planned, because in reality, most days do not turn out exactly as we thought they would. A day becomes good when we successfully turn the events to be productive for us, especially when they didn’t follow our expectations.
Allowing ourselves to look beyond our perceived expectations, lifting ourselves up from anything that has not followed these expectations, and appreciating what comes our way while accepting it as part of our lives requires us to shift the way we view reality.
Our perceived expectations from our bodies are that our bodies should function properly all the time, regardless to any external or internal conditions. Our body has its own way to communicate with us, but many times we are too busy to listen. When these messages turn lauder, we then might experience a cold, a pain, an injury, or something worse, anything to make us listen and change what we do. However, probably too often that we should, we do not really listen, as we try to continue our same routine while overcoming a condition. These conditions serve as our teachers, coming to educate us with our individual needs. Perhaps teaching us that our perceived expectations may not always be according to our abilities, simply because we never took the time to discuss the matter with our own body.
Creating the space and the opportunity to listen to our body and respecting its abilities will help us adopt real expectations that match our needs, without feeling disappointed by not achieving the perceived ones. And yes, a castor pack would be an awesome helper in this process.
Perfection is a bridge between our deep heartfelt wishes and our actions.
How many times do we find ourselves miserable because we are doing something that we didn’t really want to do, but “kind of” were forced into doing it? A dear friend and brilliant Oncology Naturopath, Dr. Jen Green ND, FABNO, mentioned a powerful statement – “when I say NO to others, I say YES to me”.
The ability to say “NO” is an acquired art, which requires plenty of practice. With every action we do, we face a choice, even when we are not always aware of it. Unless we are in a position that someone is actually pointing a gun to our heads, we are the ones who decide if we want to do or not to do what’s ahead of us.
It may not always be clear to us, but our job and responsibilities do not include rescuing the whole world. No one needs to be saved by us, even when we absolutely believe that we are the only ones who can help.
Taking ourselves out of the loop of being needed and allowing ourselves to ease peacefully in the awareness of what we really want to do requires work. Starting with small choices – for example asking ourselves simple questions as “what do I want to eat for breakfast?” and following our deep wish to eat exactly what we want. Practicing further with other small choices and growing from there – “Do I want to wear red shirt or green one?”, “Do I want to return this phone call?”, “Do I want to offer my help?”, “Do I want to meet this person today (or ever)?” – while mindfully being honest with ourselves and following our deepest wishes, without fearing the responses of others.
When I learned to say “NO”, I felt very concerned that the other persons would not be able to find another help and obviously they will be angry with me. To my astonishment, nothing happened. The earth kept circling around the sun, and these people moved on and found solutions. Whoa!
Repeating situations like these brought me to a wider thinking about the people I want to surround myself with. It was a slow and painful process realizing that our hearts work in both ways, which have to be balanced all the time: Our hearts send out blood and then receive blood back, and it cannot function properly if it would manifest only one of these tasks. Yes, we give from our hearts, and yes, we have to allow ourselves to receive into our hearts. No matter what relationships we are involved with – each relationship has to be balanced with both giving and receiving aspects. Each giving/receiving depends on the ability of the persons involved, and no matter how big or small the gesture is (a deep gratitude or a deep willingness to be there for us when we need is perfectly awesome), but it needs to exist.
And as Dr. Green mentioned, learning to say “NO” to situations that are not balanced means that we are honoring our own deepest wishes and heartfully saying “YES” to turn them into actions.
Perfection is the true meaning of who we are.
We are all different from each other in so many ways – the way we look, the way we think, the way we move… There is no way for us to be exactly like someone else. No matter how hard we try.
I recently read a quote, attributed to Albert Einstein: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Intuition is a very deep unique component within us, which offers us a direction in life, many times without a reasonable explanation. Following our intuition requires trust, that this irrational action, which we have no way to explain or reason with, is the best way for us to act upon.
Finding the courage to trust our intuition rises up from a commitment to an internal communication, since our intuition is not actually manifesting in words. Becoming aware of the sights our eyes choose to see, of the sounds our ears choose to hear, or of the direction our legs choose to move (or stand still) is the first sign of grasping our intuitive mind. Trust will follow as we allow ourselves to move further from the state of fight-or-flight which became a constant in our modern life, and relax into a calmer state. Castor packs? For sure! and any other way that can help us slow down to a peaceful state of mind.
Learning to trust our intuition and follow it, regardless to how our actions are perceived by others or how others decide to act, will help us connect internally with who we are and who we aspire to be.
We can meet ourselves exactly at the place we are at this moment.
As we tend to compare ourselves to others around us, we might try to match our pace and lifestyle to theirs, even if many times we are not fully capable of doing so at that moment. A dear friend and inspiring yoga teacher, Julie Stulberg, used to mention in her pre-Covid classes at the gym, that every yoga class is a practice. Each day, each hour, each moment is different than the ones prior to them, and we may not be able to do the same things as we did before – we might be able to do more or less, depending on our state at that particular moment. Forcing our bodies into something that is beyond their abilities at this moment might result in an injury.
Taking this statement out of the yoga room into our real life may help us meet ourselves exactly at the place we are at this moment.
Meeting ourselves at the place we are at the moment may even allow us to feel and express deep gratitude and appreciation to everything we are able to do at every moment of our lives.
Removing the final “if” out of the title question of this article and turning this question into a powerful statement reveals that perfection really exists. My definition would be completely different than the common one, yet, this definition is the perfect one for me. Our perfection has no dependency on anyone around us. Setting our minds to act from our own deepest intentions and not as a response to other’s actions will help us be as perfect as we can be. Statements like “Nothing is perfect” will become irrelevant since each and every one of us is perfect in their own way, and we cannot regard everyone under the same profile.
Taking the time to create an internal dialogue between us and our bodies, will allow us to appreciate our uniqueness and to understand that this is the only perfection we should be seeking. Only then, we can find the courage to take the “if”s out of our lives, and can clearly see that everyone around us is neither more nor less perfect than we are. And that vision by itself makes us the most perfect we can ever be.