The Problem of Perfection

How many times have you belittled yourself for not saying the “right thing.”

How many times have you berated yourself because you didn’t do something right the first time?

How many times have you cussed yourself because you didn’t succeed at something?

Hi, I’m Joshua Taylor, and just like you, I’m often overly critical of myself. Sometimes I allow my fears to get the best of me. Sometimes I self-sabotage to keep others around me comfortable.

But I’m here to tell you that both you and I need to be more patient with ourselves, love ourselves a little more, and be open to the possibility that our self-perceived “failures” are actually our path forward.

You see, we didn’t come here to be perfect. We didn’t come here to be the end all, be all. What we did do is come here to strive towards the highest expression of our potential – but that doesn’t ever mean that we have to be perfect.

Can you accept that?

Will you accept that?

Can you feel the weight fall from your shoulders?

Why are we willing to acknowledge this of others but never of ourselves?

Sometimes we get so caught up in everything needing to be “perfect” that we forget the inherent joy of the act of creation in the first place.

The joy is in the journey and that must be true with every journey or endeavor we undertake.

I can’t tell you how many pieces of art or music I’ve made that I destroyed or abandoned – all because they weren’t “perfect.”

Nothing we ever do or create or say will ever be “perfect”; however, it can be perfect just as it is.

Note the difference. A thing, a word, an idea will never be “perfect” but it will always be as perfect as it can be and that’s all that’s asked of us.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 5:1

Notice the scripture says “be imitators of God” not, “be God” but … it’s still a tough order isn’t it.

There is one way; however, that we can be perfect and that, my friends, to be perfectly imperfect and perfectly imperfect is a wonderful jumping off point towards striving to be our best… not God’s best, but our own, imperfect best.

As our foibles, follies, and faults arise, if we’re striving to be “imitators of God,” then our job is to do our best to overcome them. Will we always be successful in this regard? No. Are we expected to always be successful in this regard? No. However, it is reasonable that we be expected to try.

And only in our efforts to overcome our faults is the possibility of achievement available to us.

Why then are we so forgiving of others when they fail and so hard on ourselves?

Why do we hold ourselves to a perfect standard but everyone else to an imperfect one?

I’m inclined to believe that it is our vanity that holds us unattainable standards.

… because we want to be the best or, at least, be perceived as the best?

Right? I mean..the “best” is a pretty great place to be until you’re no longer “the best.” The problem with being “the best” is that you have no where else to go except down the totem pole and that’s true if you’re a competitive athlete, a musician or you, and me.

… So, ditch the pressure, bruh and just focus on being your best. Love your faults and frailties so that you can heal them in love rather than beat them into new faults and new frailties. Cherish your faults because they are often what makes “us” us. They are the root of our humanity.

And because we are human as soon as we’ve overcome one fault we’ll have one more to remedy. That isn’t something to fear but rather something to delight in because even as our work is seemingly never done, with each fault we fix we come closer to achieving our personal best – a perfectly imperfect imitation of God.

And when you fail, because you will (we all do), love yourself fiercely in the moment of your failure and in every moment that it stings thereafter. Never more will you need that healing love than in those moments.

Om, Baby! Om.

Joshua Taylor

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