Having been a perfectionist most of my life, I know how much pressure the quest for perfection puts upon us. Of course, there is no denying that my quest for perfection made me work hard and receive accolades, but it also made me a lover of individual willpower. It made me believe that you can achieve anything by just putting your mind and hard work into it. And this belief made me look at others (who I thought were not working hard enough/ or didn’t have the requisite willpower) as lesser beings.
My belief in perfection made me judgmental, impatient, superior, dismissive and unforgiving. It also made me cover up my self-perceived flaws (and feel like a fraud/ hypocrite).
And as I look around myself, I find that almost everyone has fallen prey to the idea of perfection. A perfect body, perfect face, perfect smile, perfect manners, perfect social graces, perfect outfits, perfect makeup, perfect lifestyle, perfect educational credentials, perfect career profile, perfect marriage, perfect children, and perfect health (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual) makes us follow/ run towards those messiahs who promise it all to us. And we just keep running from the pillar to the post.
The day I clearly understood that my ‘mess’ is a part of my journey to the ‘messiah’ within me, I relaxed. The quest for perfection dropped. I realized that I am a work in progress – and this work is never going to end. I will always remain a work in progress – and every stage of this ‘progress’ carries an inherent perfection. I only have to ‘own’ it – along with the ‘mess’.
Today, I own my judgments, impatience, superiority, dismissiveness and unforgiveness with as much elan as I own my joy, positivity, peace, compassion, empathy and gratefulness.
Honest self-knowledge reveals all aspects of my inner being; and this revelation humbles me.
I am also beginning to understand that peace (whether inner or outer) is not created by grandiosity but by humility. The humility of imperfection, does it.