Perfection – Does It’s Promise Hold Up?

1/32 November 5, 2018 – Purple Dawn, Chilmark Pond

Crochet Anxiety & Perfection

Something I’ve noticed lately is how the striving for Perfection and trying to project our own little piece of Perfection out to the world can cause suffering – like actually a lot. So I wanted to explore that.

What is Perfection?

To me: Perfection is seeking to control things in our life in order to alleviate one of our human animal birthrights: general anxiety which stems from the animal need to survive.

So Ultimately what we are seeking (at all times and in all we do) is the feeling of well-being – happiness, contentment, joy, peace, etc.

Human Based Perfection

But what we chase after is Human-Based-Perfection, thinking that somehow when things are perfect – our bodies, our home, our job, our relationships, our finances – when they are perfect THEN I can have those feelings of well-being.

We bring this seeking of Perfection into so much of our life. Lose weight, gain weight, tidy my home, renovate the bathroom, get a new car, paint the house, check off everything on my to-do list, and on and on…. Including our hobbies like crochet. If I can just make this crochet project perfectly, get this one more row done, this one more project done, etc. Let me share a picture of what I’ve made. But first I must clear a Perfect space, get Perfect lighting, make it look like all the other perfect Instagram and YouTube images out there.

Life is Always in Flux

But all these things are always in flux in our life. Nothing is ever Perfect the way us humans define perfection which is straight controlled lines. Nature doesn’t work that way. Nature is curvy, nature is fractal, nature is messy, and nature, truly, is so much more interesting and beautiful than straight lines.

The False Promise of Straight Lines

And what if we do get those straight lines? Perfectly lined up furniture, perfectly lined up education for our kids, perfectly lined up income, perfectly lined up progress on goals, perfectly lined up life – meet the boy/girl – fall in love – get married – buy the house – have kids – living happily ever after. 

Even when things line up perfectly (which they rarely do according to straight lines) our satisfaction is short-lived. Is our anxiety relieved? No, we are quickly onto thinking “when will the other shoe drop?” And we are back to not experiencing feelings of well-being, and instead experiencing feelings of worry, dread and anxiety.

What’s the Solution?

Now, I don’t know how much anxiety can be eliminated, but I do know that it can at the very Least be greatly reduced. How?

By not having Perfection serve as our personal permission slip to be happy and feel at peace.

See striving for a particular outcome is not in and of itself problematic. That’s the stuff of human life. The problem is when we tie it to our permission to be happy.

Granting ourselves permission to be happy or at least at peace right here right now in the middle of the storm, in the middle of the mess, in the middle of the chaos, in the middle of the project, in the middle of the struggle, this is what we should strive for.

How: To take quiet time, to take a break, to take a breath, to notice right here, right now, essentially everything is ok. It’s not Human-Perfect, but it is Nature- Perfect.

And nature perfect is so much more interesting, so much more true beauty. 

It’s only our definitions that rob us of seeing the True Perfection of this present moment.

Even in the worst moments, if we cultivate this practice daily of allowing ourselves to be at peace in the mundane times, then we can be at ease even in the most challenging moments.

A Personal Perspective

From my experience, when life throws me challenges, when I take the time to slow down and examine them calmly, I often, well, always, I find the message that life is trying to send me.

You see, the feelings of well-being, ease, peace, joy – these are our natural state. It’s when we put conditions on top of them that we cease to feel them. They are always there beneath the surface but we cover them up with worry about the future, regrets about the past, and the general pursuit of perfection in everything before we allow ourselves to be happy and at peace.

So you see our only real problem is Us wanting to control that which is already perfect before we ALLOW ourselves to be happy is.

Recognize This

Things are perfect right now. The things you think are not perfect are there for your growth. They each hold messages and teachings.  Look for the good lessons in each. 

Maybe those lessons are Patience, kindness, love, letting go of anger and other negative feelings. 

When you allow yourself to see the perfection that is already here, all the good that is already here, then you can allow yourself to be happy (or at least at ease) now no matter what is going on. 

Which is what we want from perfection anyway – to be happy, to feel at ease.

Try This

Next time you have an imperfection in your life see if you can let it be there. See if you can sit with it a while before trying to fix it. See if you can understand the root of why you feel compelled to control it. See if you can love the beauty of it. What could it’s message be for you?

Maybe we can even learn to love what we perceive as imperfections in ourselves both in our physical appearance, our creations and in our thoughts. 

Know this: All is perfect right now. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. All those “mistakes” – they are not roadbumps. They are On-Purpose. They are there For You. They are perfect learning opportunities. All that mess – it’s Nature’s Perfection. And your task is not to control it but to discover the highest good in it.

You have permission to rest in the feelings of happiness, joy, and ease at all times. I wish you peace and happiness and ease.

Crochet Podcast on Perfection

If you are interested, I discussed this topic last week in my crochet podcast. You can watch it below.

Join me in the conversation!

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below or by sharing this on FB or Twitter with your perspective!

Thanks for reading!