The Perfection of Imperfection
Yesterday was my 60th birthday; an age I don’t remember ever thinking much about – other than being a number bumping right up against “old.” Through the preceding decades of obligations, relationships, raising children, crises, resolutions, highs, lows, despairs and new dawns, the concept of 60 was a vague irrelevance.
And suddenly – as I sat in meditation on the anniversary of my first day 60 years ago, an awareness opened of just how perfect it all has been. My past flowed before me, an evolutionary river begun with my parents bringing me life, on through each significant person and experience. I saw the perfection which enveloped each moment – those of joy and awakening, but also those of fear, confusion, heartbreak, physical pain, bitter disappointment.
The truth of each experience, whether traumatic or jubilant, came clear. Moments in time and place, populated with distinctive people and imbued with a spectrum of ever changing feelings, judgments, conclusions and actions, shifted from seemingly random into expression of a far more profound journey. I recognized my little life as a continually evolving, distinctive and exquisite thread, lovingly woven within the Allness of Eternity.
Now did all the dead ends, the sidesteps, the sufferings, become not time wasted but instead necessary and benevolent influences. With a sometimes ruthless dedication, was I continually moved towards realizing my own potentials and desires. Nothing was ever a mistake.
I saw how the people in my life have been crucial components of my own evolving story, from playing bit parts to taking on leading roles. How our lives have intersected, overlapped and encompassed experiences ranging from the highest joys through challenges, disappointments, hurt and conflict – and yet each experience again a shaping influence for my ultimate benefit and growth.
As I sat in the fullness of this perspective, all the questions, resentments, regrets, insecurities, fears, judgments… just fell away. For a timeless moment, there were no doubts, no otherness, no separation. Just pure acceptance and awareness of life’s perfection. Appreciation for myself, and for all of us here working things through. It’s not easy to be human, but I stepped up – and so did you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Forever works in progress. What a blessed adventure!
True perfection seems imperfect,
Yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
Yet it is fully present.
True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.
The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
And lets the Tao speak for itself.
(Tao te Ching, Chapter 45
Stephen Mitchell Translation