Walking this morning felt so good. My path took me through trees and into a clearing. As the sunlight bathed my face with warmth, a cool, light breeze blew my hair back. Delightful. It is odd to acknowledge that this entity, when reaching hurricane strength, can inflict such horrific damage. I think we will all agree that most things that are “good” quickly turn destructive when they become excessive.
The concept of PERFECTION is a good example of this phenomena. In our lives, many of us strive to “do a good job”, “be complete”, or to “never fail.” When we take those concepts to the next level and strive for perfection we may find ourselves exhausted, defeated, and staring down the throat of failure.
Not a fun place to be.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Shauna Niequist, author of the book “Present Over Perfect.” Shauna’s interview was grounding for me in many respects. Above all, it reminded me that doing things to the best of our ability is noble, but when we take it a step further and strive for perfection it takes us on a journey marked by frustration, futility, and failure. We must look at what is really important. We must look at our soul. Is it empty or is it full? According to Shauna:
“The soul’s worth, though, doesn’t come from earning or proving. Image doesn’t matter. Outrunning the emptiness won’t last for long. Each soul, every soul, is worthy…”
Oh yes Shauna…thank you for sharing this. We are worthy. Sometimes our “good” has to be good enough. Perfection, as defined in the material world, is a concept that is subjective at best. As the wind rustles my hair today I realize that striving for perfection is like chasing a wisp of wind. You can chase it forever and never really grasp it. Today I have decided to set aside the concept of perfection and be content with the cool breeze on my face right here, right now. How liberating…
How has the concept of “perfection” affected your life?
Dr. Shelley Plumb