“All of me loves all of you, loves your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.”—John Legend
The idea of perfection is something we all carry around in our heads, applying it to ourselves, our loved ones, strangers, and to every experience in our day-to-day lives. We want to live up to a standard we have set for ourselves—or someone else has set for us. We want others to live up to that same standard, and even more important, we want life to live up to this standard as well. Whatever the standard of perfection is, it involves judgment—and almost inevitably failure, disappointment, frustration, anger. People or events let us down, we disappoint ourselves, and life becomes an experience of disillusionment rather than joy. We have not yet learned to embrace “what is” as the true perfection of life.
Every day in my backyard flower garden, I learn this lesson over and over again. Reluctantly, and sometimes with great frustration, I am forced to give up my mind’s idea of a perfect garden with every flower and leaf intact: no violet leaves ragged with rabbit bites, no hyacinths bitten off by woodchucks, no potted coleus uprooted by squirrels, no rose buds eaten by worms. Each morning is a practice in letting go into loving what is, in seeing the perfection in everything. I prune dead flowers and chewed leaves, remove worms and aphids, but I also stand back and gaze at the beauty of what continues to bloom and flourish. Nature includes all living things (yes, rabbits too), and my role as a gardener is to find a way to live in balance with that wholeness. The curves and jagged edges; the perfect symmetry of inclusiveness. And after an hour or two in the garden, I am always more at peace, more accepting of all of life because I am surrounded by such incredible beauty. Beauty that is constantly changing, just as life is. Nothing remains the same, and that is the miracle of being alive.
If God or Source energy is in all things and everything I see is shining with that inner divinity, then “what’s not to love?” as the saying goes. Same with animals, same with people. When I judge myself or others against some mental standard of what I think I or they should live up to, I am not appreciating the absolutely perfect creation that we each are. If I stand in judgment of people, life’s events, or my own “failure” to be as enlightened as I think I should be, then I am missing the miraculously orchestrated unfolding of all things in the universe. Nothing is out of place, and everything is evolving and expanding into more. Flowers, animals, insects, and human beings are all playing their parts. So this is a gentle reminder to celebrate all of life’s “perfect imperfections” as you go through your day—in the garden, in your home, and out in the world. Heaven is all around you, and everyone you meet is an earth angel—absolutely perfect.