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Imperfectly Perfect


“We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Life has continued to be very hectic for me in the past few weeks, and my hectic schedule was made more difficult by a Rhumatoid Arthritis flare that struck me last week. Between the stress, pain, and crap-mood inducing steroids, I really struggled to stay “tuned-in”. When I would try to meditate, catch up on some reading, or even just take some quiet time to reflect, I found myself being distracted by joint pain, or miffed about something, or a combination thereof.

Saturday morning, it was cool and rainy, but for the first time in about a week, I felt well enough to actually get up and walk around without a tremendous amount of pain. Luckily, the rain took a long enough break, that I was able to take my old corvette for a little joy ride. As I was driving, just as I did several weeks ago during a particularly hectic work week, I ran through a quick emotional and physical checklist, and quickly figured out that I really needed to “snap out of it”. Even if I was in pain, even if I was in a bad mood (drug induced or not), I needed to still strive to be the best person I could be, rather than simple wallow in negativity. After all, negativity doesn’t help yourself, or anyone around you.

As I was driving I began to look around my old Corvette and notice some of its minor character flaws. While my Corvette is no museum piece, it is in really good shape for a 37 year old sports car (most sports cars are driven into the ground… literally). However, the old girl has some faded spots, some cracks, some squeaks, etc. (I can relate). However, it has been recently restored, and almost all of these things would go wholly unnoticed by anyone other than myself. In the same way, we each have minor character flaws, many of which we keep deeply hidden, so as to put our best face out into the world, even if we are full of turmoil inside.

My son “driving”.

I think the key is to be in-tune with yourself enough to actually realize your current inner-state, honestly evaluate it, and rectify it as best you can. While the drugs may have made me more acceptable to negativity, I needed to put in place an extra mental and emotional filter, in order to deal with it the best I could. Did I deal with it perfectly? Of course not. Did I deal with it better? I think so.

Another key is to not beat yourself up when you aren’t “perfect”. Nobody is perfect, we can just do the best we can. Sure, I would like to be more productive at work, write content more often for this blog, and write more articles and books, all the while being the perfect husband, father, and a perfectly enlightened being. The truth is, I can just do what I can do, the best that I can do it. I will continue to be the best person that I can be on the inside, while reflecting that on the outside. I will continue to try and rectify my flaws, while finding inspiration in the world around me. Most of all, I will continue to realize that I am imperfectly perfect, and that is just fine.

Practical Tip: Take a moment to write down, or just think about the person who you would like to be. How do you want to be viewed by the world? What goals would you like to accomplish? Then look inside, and think of all the ways that you are already that person. Think about the steps that you are taking to accomplish your goals. Try, and turn any negative thoughts, emotions, or “flaws”, into something positive, use them as motivation.

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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

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  1. March 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Tuning in with ourselves is so important. Great post!

  2. March 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Thanks for a really great analogy! You and your Corvette are setting wonderful examples for your son in Being as you Are 🙂

    • March 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      I truly hope that I am setting a good example! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, and thank you for commenting, I am a big fan of your blog!

  3. March 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    I enjoyed this post! In it, I recognized a thought I’ve been exploring lately: Being pessimistic is easy; being optimistic is hard.
    I’ve been trying to change myself for the better in this aspect, by having a more positive outlook on life, but slipping into my former role as ‘the cynic’ is all too easy when I stop thinking. You seem to handle this well. Thanks for getting me thinking.

    • April 1, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      Thank you for commenting! Optimism is hard, but it sure does make life more enjoyable.

  4. April 3, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Oh man do I get how hard it is to concentrate on meditating with pain! Argh. I feel for you. Are you feeling better? I hope so. Oh yes, the steroid treatments are just lovely for mood, aren’t they? Sigh.

    Yes you can only do what you can do. Your blog looks really interesting. 🙂

    • April 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      I am doing much better. The good news and the bad news about R.A., is that you can feel fine for weeks and months, but then an attack can occur suddenly and last for days or even weeks at a time. I try really appreciate and enjoy the times between attacks. I’m glad that you are enjoying my blog, and thanks for commenting!

      • April 4, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        You’re welcome. It’s good that you do this. I try to do the same. It sounds similar to my mine, coming and going with no rhyme or reason. It’s so great that you intentionally focus on enjoying feeling good when you ARE feeling good. Of course, it’s not fun to not know when the pain will hit. Can’t we schedule pain? Ha! There must be an app for that. 🙂 Hugs to you.

  5. April 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    We read to know that we are not alone. This piece sums up the good days and the bad days and that ultimately, we decide to make each day better than yesterday. And though we stumble, it’s in the stumbling and picking ourselves up that we become stronger, know ourselves better. Thank you so much for the meaningful message that you put out each time and I hope you are feeling better these days. Sharon

    • April 23, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Thank you for the kind thoughts Sharon! While the picking yourself up can be difficult, it does indeed make us stronger, and hopefully more stumble proof on the future! 😉

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