April 2022 Newsletter
Hello, and an amazing April to you!
Do you want to be perfect?
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about wanting to be perfect.
When we see someone who believes they can do no wrong, we probably feel annoyance and disdain, not admiration. "He thinks he's so great!" we may say scornfully, while pointing out
some of his more obvious faults or mistakes. Then why do we ourselves often feel that we have to do every single thing right?
We may have been criticized, or even shamed or punished, for doing something "wrong" by a parent or a teacher or a boss, when it was only done in a way they didn't expect or want.
We are not fundamentally flawed, we are just a unique individual separate from that authority, with a different viewpoint! Yes, sometimes the authority does know best. That does not
mean we are broken, it only means we have more to learn.
When we put pressure on ourselves to do everything perfectly, it can backfire, leading us to make mistakes. If we're nervous, maybe we rush, or try too hard. Every time I went to
the eye doctor as a child, I was anxious, anticipating failure if I could not see the eye chart clearly enough. I was usually told I needed stronger glasses,
confirming my belief that my vision was defective, steadily getting worse.
As in the cartoon above, wanting to produce something that's perfect can also lead to procrastination. We can polish and edit our work or creation endlessly, hoping to make it more perfect,
and never finish it, to put it out there for others to see. Well, then at least no one can criticize it! It's better to do our best, then make our creation available to others, polishing it
and prettying it up in a later version. We can call the initial offering a "beta version" if we think it's not perfect enough, so no one else will expect it to be flawless.
Speaking of making something prettier which is already attractive, do these pink flowers seem imperfect to you? If flowers could think, I doubt they'd be worrying "I'd be so much prettier if I hadn't lost a petal
in that windstorm!", or "I'm just an ordinary wildflower. I'd be so much more special if I was an orchid!". No, they simply keep blooming and sharing their beauty for everyone to enjoy.
What if you and what you do are already perfect, for where you are in your life right now? That doesn't mean you can't improve further, as you learn more and grow. Whatever stage you're in, still a bud or spreading
your fully ripened flowers to the sun, you're right where you're supposed to be. The Japanese art form wabi-sabi finds beauty in imperfection, mending cracks in pottery with gold to highlight and celebrate the
"flaw", and being perfectly imperfect. Please celebrate your own uniqueness and what you see as imperfection. There is only one of you.
For an article from a few years ago wrestling with my own need to be perfect,
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Enjoy the start of this angelic month of April.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!