“'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections”
John Legend – All of Me
“Imperfection is relatable.”
There’s not a lot of passion or enthusiasm in my writing this morning; I’m just trying to get it done. Sometimes that’s okay. Steven Pressfield says the warrior usually plays hurt, but I also play when I’m tired, sad, scared, or apathetic. As far as I’m concerned, fighting apathy is just one more battle. Apathy comes at me, as do all my other foes, but I keep working. I keep doing what I said I would do. Another enemy is distraction. I fight that one constantly. Yet, here I am, still working, still doing my best.
Yes, I hear the voice in my head saying, “If you were really doing your best, you wouldn’t let yourself get so easily distracted.”
All I can say is…nothing.
There’s no point in replying to my accuser. First, the accuser will always, always, find a weakness, a chink in the armor. If there is not an accusation about my writing, then the Enemy can attack my messy place, my lack of organization, something I did, said, failed to do, or failed to say in the past. There is no end to the accusations the Enemy can throw at me. What makes it worse is that most of the accusations are true. I have been, am, and will continue to be, imperfect in many ways. I am rude, lazy, afraid, and inconsistent in most of my good habits, but few of my bad.
Fortunately, perfection is not my goal. I’m glad it isn’t. That would be an awful goal. It would be impossible for the following reasons:
· Whose standard would I use?
· What if time proves my work to be less than perfect?
· How long would it take to do something perfectly?
· How would I grow if I did everything perfectly?
I don’t like my imperfections, but I accept them. There are people in my life, despite their imperfections, whom I love with all my heart. I recognize each loved one’s faults and limitations (and I don’t find these traits cute or charming), but I recognize these things make each of us part of who we are. It also gives us something to work on, a point of growth.
Part of the celebrity cult in our culture is how we practically worship the wealthy or the famous, believing only in the side we see in public. Then they do something that shows us a different side and our love turns into hate, or at least disdain. I think some people get a perverse pleasure seeing someone fall so hard from the pedestal where we placed him or her. Perhaps we think, “If I can’t be perfect, why should they be?”
So I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t need the grief. I’d rather be successful. I’d rather know that I did my best and that my best can (and usually does) get better. I’d prefer the struggle. It makes the victory far more meaningful and the defeats far more valuable.
In an episode of The Twilight Zone called A Nice Place to Visit, a criminal is shot and killed trying to escape the scene of a crime. Upon his death, he meets his spirit guide, Pip, who provides the man with all he desires, the perfect life. Eventually he finds that the perfect life is not perfect because there is no risk, no strife, nothing to accomplish. He finds out he is not it Heaven, but in Hell.
I don’t know what Heaven will actually be like. If there’s struggle and uncertainty, how can it be Heaven? On the other hand, if there’s no growth or development, how couldn’t it be Hell? Perhaps my orientation will be different in eternity, so I’m not going to tackle those questions now. I’d rather focus on overcoming the struggles of my own imperfections and working to be the man I am supposed to be. I’d rather focus on continuing to Get Started and to Keep Going…even if I do it imperfectly.
As I was writing this, I got up several times. I also started falling asleep, and I got distracted, which made the writing of this blog take longer than necessary. Still, despite my resistance and fear (I was nervous about writing this final paragraph), I overcame. That is the reason for imperfections – so that I have the room for and joy of improvement. And it’s the improvement that makes the imperfections necessary and fun.