Imperfection – October 9 2017

Most people spend their whole lives using their strengths to cover up and hide their weaknesses. They expend tremendous energy in keeping themselves a house divided. But if you surrender to your weakness, therein lies your pathway to genius. A person who knows and utilizes his true weakness and uses his strength to include it is a whole person. He may seem rough around the edges, but there are so few people like that that they lead their generation.
Moshe Feldenkrais, physicist 
and creator of the Feldenkrais method,
Awareness Through Movement
 
It is a tremendous mark of maturity when we find ourselves willing and able to own, openly, our shortcomings. As Mr. Feldenkrais points out above, some of us never arrive at this juncture. We in effect hide from our weaknesses as we hide them from the world. To do this is to miss, at least in part, the point of life.
 
The Veda would say that the circumstances of our birth–parental, socio-economic, physical–all are chosen by us in order that we may learn what it is we are meant to learn in this passage through the world. As if before we embody, our Higher Self has chosen for us a life that will give us just those challenges that will cause us to grow; that meeting our specific challenges will cause us to build exactly the tools we need in order to live the life we are meant to live, in order to be able to give ourselves fully to the world.
 
If I come out of childhood already knowing how to love, how to succeed, able to have a full and beautiful life, what will I have to pass on to others? What tools will I have to share with my son on how to mend a broken heart, how to find one’s life’s work, how to seek God in all my affairs, how to see myself with a sense of humor and take myself with a grain of salt?
 
As an actor, if I never have had the experience of fear in performance, how can I help some other actor who is unable to give herself permission simply to be?
 
As a lover, if all my relationships–between myself and my parents, between myself and every lover and friend I’ve ever had–all have been ‘successful’ and filled with nothing but love and kindness, how will I have compassion for my beloved when she stumbles in her ability to be present with me?
 
When we try to live without embracing our ‘weaknesses,’ as they are called above, we keep ourselves from the lessons we are meant to have. At the very least, we delay our learning of these lessons.
 
How might we begin?
 
  • By seeking in ourselves that place of non-judgment: of ourselves, of others.
  • By finding the willingness to live in the discomfort of knowing ourselves as less than perfect.
  • By finding the courage to take on the feelings of shame that often accompany that first embrace of our own imperfections.
  • By letting go of the habit of looking at ourselves through the eyes of others in order to see how we’re doing, and asking ourselves instead: how might it be to see myself through the eyes of God?
  • By developing and growing an idea of the world/nature/Totality as benign and loving, wanting nothing more for me than my complete happiness.
  • By insisting in each moment to step past the ego mind and its attempts to keep us small.
  • By remembering always that love is the currency of the universe, that learning to spend this currency unconditionally would describe 99% of the job we have here on planet Earth, and that loving unconditionally is what we are most perfectly designed to do. Imperfections and all.
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Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Today I will try to see through the eyes of unconditional love, through the eyes of God.
Orchids, tintype, Downtown Photo Collective, Los Angeles
All original material copyright © 2017 Jeff Kober

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