“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 a whole version of ourselves. 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 we can shine bright like a diamond.
I am, by nature, a gentle and kind person. I give too much and often find it hard to say ‘no’. I am not a push-over by any means, I am strong and some men (I am speaking in platonic terms here) find me intimidating when I speak my mind. But there is anger within me. Sometimes I express this anger and I usually do not do it well. It is my learning curve. Yesterday I responded to a security complaint in my workplace, I went toward it confident and calm. I met the complainant, heard their concerns and approached the party allegedly at fault, I approached in a relax manner and as I went to introduce myself I was met with a verbal barrage of unsavoury insulting language. It was like being punched in the stomach by a stranger on the street. Luckily support was immediately at hand and I was saved further confrontation. I know the vitriolic anger was not intended for me yet it still created fear and hurt. This situation helps serve as a reminder that it probably feels somewhat similar when I express my anger inappropriately, thus, this experience fuels my intention of learning to express myself with control, that I can be heard without verbally assaulting the one I wish to hear me. That I can softly speak my anger without creating fear or anxiety, only open lines of genuine communication.
Surfacing from pressured depths
Surging tidal currents of thought
Buffeting emotional seaweed
Lost in the calm, lost to the pressure
The jewel of knowing is far from grasp
Yet gentle care will ignite the tender flame
My words seem so simple, childlike, when I look from the I that is object conscious, bound to the mammalian, not the I that swims in quantum currents of limitless truth, aware of the knowing ripples that ever flow. We do not belong anywhere but within us, yet when we reach beyond to taste of love, real love, whole love, the heavens burst open showering us with truth that we will forget and remember again, returning home to the precious jewel of self a thousand times over. A möbius loop of divine inheritance.
I part the dawn with trembling fingers
Tentatively reaching for the pieces of my soul surrendered in fear
Atoms realign, beloveds kiss upon my damp face
Constant despite my malingering and tendency to keep falling
When I yearn for unification with the gleaming beauty of the stars
Remembering is sweet torture, rupturing dark tendrils of devolution
That threaten to drown hope in a sticky blackness of suffering
Yet this is what it means to be real among humanity
To let the diamond soul fracture in sunlight and remain
A beacon of truth unravelled as we descend and re-ascend…
Descend and re-ascend.
A smile, a supernova of bliss, as I embrace myself newly whole and utterly in love
I had covered my fragility with a skin of stone. Believed that to be needed was to be loved. That to be compassionate was to avoid causing pain and therefore meant to deny the self. That to be loyal was to lock away the truth as a secret. That the jewel of my consciousness needed a protector. I wore the future as a brittle crown that cut and bled when I strayed from the path others wished me to walk. The butterfly of my soul flutters incessantly within the labyrinth prison of thought I have bound myself within. But to offer false hope is cruel. Trembling, I sought to open the window to allow my soul back in. Remembering the fall I realise I have allowed devolution to go too far with half-truths and excuses of why fear was too strong. But ascent is still possible. It is absolutely vital and ravenous, I hunger for it.
Well, I have been absent. Making serious changes in my life. More about that later, when I am ready. But it is my WordPress anniversary today and I have one thing, well two things or maybe three, to share. The first is a quote from the talented poet Shane Koyczan:
“If your heart is broken, make art from the pieces.”