Nothing is perfect. Static, unchanging, finalized perfection cannot exist in a dynamic universe.
Yet, all people are perfect versions of themselves in each moment. This is a continually moving, shifting, evolving perfection, worlds different than the marble sculpture of still-frame ideals that we so often pedestalize.
Know that it’s simply not possible to be a flawed you – there is only one you in all the universe, and in your uniqueness, you are the perfect you.
You are the perfect you. Right now. Right here. In this body, with this face, with this heart and mind and spirit. Everything about you is perfect for you.
Your perfection will change. Your perfection will develop and grow and reshape and evolve. You are not static. But you are always perfect as you are in this moment, no more or less perfect than you were yesterday or than you will be tomorrow.
Granted, just because you’re perfect doesn’t mean you are the person you want to be. Most of us will always have something, large or small, that we want to change about ourselves.
Sometimes it’s good – it helps motivate us to learn, to grow, to strengthen, to expand. It encourages us to try, to improve, to work towards greater awesomeness, to be sweeter and wilder and deeper. It makes us more us.
Sometimes it means we start hating on ourselves. We ask why we aren’t smarter or prettier or more athletic or better with numbers. We demand to know why the hell we aren’t the person we want to be yet. What’s taking us so long? Why aren’t we already flawless?
Stop that noise right there.
You will continue to be perfect as you change.
The very act of change is an expression of perfection. You can’t skip it. You won’t magically fast-forward to be a miraculous version of your idealized you.
If you want to change, work for it.
But stop with the negative self-talk. Quit believing that these shitty opinions of yourself are indelible truths. They are opinions, which are subjective by their very nature. Opinions that we imprinted upon our brains and believe to be truths. I guarantee you there is someone in this world who will have a different opinion for every single opinion you have.
If you say, “The best color in the world is yellow,” that’s an opinion, not a fact. Someone else thinks it’s red. Or blue. Or taupe. Or puce.
If you tell yourself, “I’m a terrible person,” that’s an opinion, not a fact. The people who love you think you’re wonderful – why else would they love you? It’s sure as hell not out of obligation or martyrdom.
It’s okay to want to change. It’s okay to think hot damn, I want to get so much better at guitar than I am right now. It’s okay to pour your hours and your heart into changing the way you want to.
It is not okay to hate yourself as you do it. You’re not going from bad to good. You’re not even going from good to great.
You are moving from a dynamic point of perfection to another dynamic point of perfection. Do not forget this.
Let’s play pretend. Whether or not you have a car, you drive, or you get angry at other drivers, just imagine along with me.
That asshole just cut you off in traffic. Goddammit! You slam the steering wheel and fume as Assholio zigzags through the double lanes of trudging cars, desperate to get a few seconds ahead. “Don’t you know you’re not saving time?” you growl at the receding tail lights. You remember those silly commercials – the ones talking about how many tenths of a second that they’d save if only they went 10 mph over the speed limit. They don’t stop you from speeding a little when you can get away with it, but still! Busting a move in rush hour is just plain stupid.
You keep driving, holding your place and resenting it. Hah! Assholio is the first car to get caught at the next red light. You feel a little righteous as you slow to a stop yourself, only three cars back. Assholio’s efforts were in vain, and that makes you feel better – justified, in the right.
Think of what forces on Earth could get you to act like Assholio.
Got a call from the principal of your kid’s school – was there a fight? Did something unfortunate get discovered in your teen’s backpack? Or maybe a call from the nurse’s office, and your baby is waiting for you to take him or her home and make the sickness a little better?
Got a call from your significant other about a car wreck, and all you can think of is getting there to make sure everyone’s okay, even though the call says yes I’m fine but you’re a little too scared to believe it just yet?
Running late for work, and your boss says that the next time you clock in tardy, you’re fired? Or maybe late for class, and there’s a quiz today, and man, if you’re not there in time, your teacher won’t let you take the quiz at all, and that’ll be another hit to your tenuous grade?
It’s not easy to stop and remember that Assholio is just another person like you. It’s not easy to give someone the benefit of the doubt, to remember that we do things for a reason, and the choice we make in each moment is the best option we can see.
But that’s what compassion is. It’s not judging; it’s not condemning. It’s knowing that you could do that exact thing that just pissed you off and cutting the other person a little bit of slack.
After all, when you’re playing the role of Assholio, I bet you wish other people would give you a break. You’re just trying to do your best.
We all are.