V ä v a! V e v e! weaving cloth one thread at a time

Saturday, October 16, 2010

But can forgiving and accepting imperfection be good??

We are in a world of Getting Things Done!  We are required to be Productive at work.  So we push ourselves to accomplish more in less time for our paycheck.  At home we feel the pull of Productivity in having to get things done so we don't get overwhelmed with the piles of laundry, or the dust bunnies that scoot across the floor. 

We want to enable our children to have the best experiences in their school or extracurricular activities so we add more to our Productivity list, and become coaches, or volunteer at the school library.   In order to get all of these things done we have opened the door to the beast called Multi-tasking.  We cross things off our list with a sigh of relief, only to replace it with yet another task that we can accomplish on our way to bringing the kids to soccer practice and grocery shopping. 

And it seems that along with Multi-tasking and Productivity goes Perfectionism. We are told from a very young age that if we can master all of these we will be akin to God himself!

So we set ourselves up for failure, by striving for the impossible, each of us thinking that it will be ME that conquers that 3-headed dragon! We risk health, marriage, friendship, family, and wealth and dedicate ourselves to honing these three skills.

But isn't it a wonderful gift to be able to forgive imperfections, and accept them still as beautiful?!   The burl wood that is known for it's beauty and richness is actually the part of the tree that results from some sort of stress or malignancy.

Yet we treasure the wood from this part of the tree and consider it most beautiful.

Isn't it at the crossroads of nature's perfection and imperfection  that we find fascination and awe?

I know that in my own life the balancing of Multi-tasking, Productivity, and Perfectionism is a skill that needs constant monitoring.  In the past, I had tended to throw myself into perfecting something to the point of ignoring productivity or multi-tasking.  But when I couldn't achieved perfection, I have thrown it down in frustration and have never gone back to it.  For a while, I was getting a lot of piles of imperfect and unfinished projects.  But as time went by, I realized that perfection may not be the point after all.  And that the Attempt is the valiant thing.  Growth does not happen from the perfecting of something, but rather in the Attempts!  With this realization, I was able to let go of the constant voice in my head that demanded that everything in my environment be just so, and all that I accomplished was perfectly executed.  I realized that I didn't need to be constantly busy in order to be productive, and that multi-tasking actually dillutes my participation in any one task thereby negating whatever pursuit of perfection there could have been.  Why spend time on a task that you aren't doing well?  By letting go of perfection and doing one task at a time, I became more daring, more focused, and more accepting of things that didn't turn out as I had visualized them.  I began to examine what I did do and see the beauty in it, and then go on from there.  Perfection by definition seems to require a certain sameness or symmetry.  To accomplish perfection requires vast technical skills. . . but creativity is lacking.  The way I see it, creativity happens first, with perfection happening after the creative thought has already been born. 

Now, I no longer strive to get my list done so much as I try to focus on each project, really entering into it and learning from it.  Making a cup of coffee becomes a sensual experience and dusting a shelf becomes a lesson in physics.  My projects no longer require perfection, but rather they require an 'intent' towards perfection.  Although I still strive to do things perfectly, I know that the journey and the subsequent growth is the point on which I need to focus rather than the destination.  Imperfection and I coexist, and I find myself learning more and pushing my limits even further.  Now, even though I accept imperfection, I have found myself becoming a deeper person and am happier for it.  I am finding that imperfection is part of the interesting fabric of life, and that each little slub is a story of growth, and each flaw is a look into the soul of humankind.

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