Shine bright like a diamond

“Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves – the way we are – and why we don’t accept others the way they are.” Don Miguel Ruiz

Attaining ‘perfection’ is a perpetual journey. Yet the word perfection is misleading and a potentially devastating trap. The quote ‘Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without’ highlights that there is no perfection without flaw. It suggests reaching for the most magnificent version of our selves while knowing the flaws; the ‘negatives’ help to create this whole version. The concept of perfection can be a falsehood that leads us to constantly feel lacking or not good enough. It potentially denies our core self by seeking to uphold an image of perfection. Whereas attaining holistic balance is a very real and honest process of being, or rather becoming. This describes an active process of growth and attainment where we accept ourselves as we truly are yet seek growth. Our flaws lead us to growth. I see no separation between light and dark, no duality only unity with moments of friction and dissonance providing room for change within our selves.

The first time I read the diamond with a flaw quote I was stumped by it. A humble yet perfect pebble seemed a greater achievement than something ‘grander’ but flawed. I soon found that maintaining perfection was dissatisfying and limiting, I ached for challenge and growth. I was exhausted by the constant effort to avoid my flaws in order to appear the humble perfect pebble; always happy never discontent or hurting. Yet when I embraced my flaws and moved through the discomfort of facing them I became something stronger, more durable, more beautiful and more real. Diamonds are formed through high temperature and massive pressure this process creates the most durable and beautiful gem on the planet*. This process suggests discomfort. Humans tend to shy away from discomfort or suffer through it by rejecting ourselves because we are not perfect, but through accepting ourselves and gracefully working on our flaws we attain love for ourselves not self-inflicted suffering and rejection. Then we become open to the possibility of a greater version of ourselves that can live in the moment, without the devastating and painful voice of the inner critic shaming us, and shine bright like a diamond.

* India is the place where they were first thought to be mined perhaps 6000 years ago and they were revered as religious icons.

14 comments on “Shine bright like a diamond

  1. Michael says:

    This mental journey you went through was a true breakthrough in thinking. Here’s a quote you might enjoy. It is one of my favorites. It’s a little rougher (and longer) but I think it takes one to the same destination. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

  2. dievca says:

    Still thinking on the original quote….great insight on your part, but I am still thinking. XO

  3. Reblogged this on Errant Satiety and commented:

    Because I need reminding…

  4. We need to stop telling children that their self esteem is derived from what other people think of them. Think personal best rather than imperfect in comparison to superstars. Letting children think those with the latest gizmos or clothes are cool is how we destroy their self esteem.

    • I agree and hope that my child certainly doesn’t feel that way. Comparison is a painful experience and in reality we all do it, sometimes. Some more than others. Personal best is good way of looking at ourselves and building our esteem. I like to acknowledge others talents and skills rather than compare myself to them. It feels more like a win win to me.

      • There are few win win situations in life. Perspective is the thing. Where some think the best new clothes is the right perspective others think that character and goodness are. Yet others think both a waste of time when assessing self worth. To be confident without regard to what others find esteem building leaves one in a peculiar place… people can’t relate to you because you don’t care about anything that they find as giving self worth.

        Eventually, this will give the person a power they could not otherwise have but it’s rough growing up into it

      • Perspctive is indeed important. I think there are many win win situations in life, in mine at least. But I am an optimist. For me, at a basic metaphorical level, self worth comes from within each individual, in relation to their genes, environment, culture, beliefs etc. I did not intend to suggest that I was trying to acheive perfection via clothing choices or comparison to a superstar for that is something I have never done. I have always approached having my self worth fully anchored within and in relation to my self and my ability to express myself honestly. And I encourage others to do the same in all their diversity. This was more an acknowledgement of a small moment in that journey.

  5. dievca says:

    Thinking about this, again. I prefer people with imperfections — they are so much more interesting. Perfection = Boring and as you stated — you don’t grow from perfection. You stand still. XO

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