“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.
As I propel myself through this world of dimmed light, I find illumination.
Unravelling trauma, I discover lost memories or clarify half remembered ones, re-experiencing these memories as an adult I find holistic answers that enable me to free up an anxiety or fear based response where one is no longer required. My vision and thoughts become clearer by removing extraneous, fear-filled noise. It’s a layer cake of experience; taking care, time, patience, will and approaching things from various directions and in a variety of forms. I carry my trauma in my body and my parasympathetic system. Working with the mind is only one part of my unravelling. A gentle, kind reboot of the entire system every time a new discovery is unearthed is required. Each time, more of my authentic self emerges and she is increasingly content.
A word can carry much meaning, weighted with memory that awakes strong emotion. This word, so special to me, held close and secretly, quietly revered. My earliest memories attached to it of a woman who could be trusted who loved me and named me such. My paternal Grandmother, of all my family the one I am like. She died when I was three years old and passed to me a family heirloom a perfect and beautiful china doll with real human hair that had been passed from mother to daughter for a few generations. My Grandmother never had a daughter and so she wanted me to have her treasure, and in my youthful wisdom I named her ‘Precious’ to remind me of what I had been to Rose, my Grandmother. I have no idea what my older female cousins or my brothers received but I clearly remember being lifted up and sat high on a bench by my father as he told me that Rose had passed and presented me with what I knew was her greatest treasure and a source of great sadness. I have never had a girl child so will hold onto my treasure until such a time as there is a girl child close to me that will understand. Rose used to say I had Faery blood like her and then she would erupt into her musical laughter that intoxicated everyone around her. It was our spirits that met. She spoke to me as if I were an adult not a small girl. No one else has ever called me this; I’ve never spoken of it until now yet out of the blue someone used this word to describe me today. It touched me deeply, softness entered me, a quiet, a time of nourishment; a moment of reaping my uniqueness and allowing myself to love me, to say ‘I am precious’.
The positive attributes of precious:
3. Not to be wasted or treated carelessly
4. Greatly loved or treasured by someone
1. A term of endearment for a beloved person
Do you have a special word? If you don’t, try mine; borrow it, feel its contours, let it touch your heart and mind, see if it leads you to your own nourishing word that sets your heart on fire like a jewel kissed by sunlight.
Words by Errant Satiety, image borrowed from a local florist.