Perfection is the enemy of good. — Voltaire

Unlike what Fox News, ISIS, PETA or Kanye might have you believe, there are very few absolutes in life, and extremism in thought, word or deed is never the route to go. Like the Buddha says of a string on the sitar, if it’s too tight it will break, too loose and you won’t get any sound from it. Either way, the music dies. Life does not exist in black or white, but in fact is found in the many shades between.

Everyone has ways to escape or numb, whether from current circumstances and the daily grind, or from unresolved pain of the past. And when there is no awareness around the suffering and its source, the turmoil is turned inward as unhealthy behaviors, addiction or abuse, or directed outward as jealousy, hatred or violence in its many forms toward “others.”

In this era of plasticsurgery-photoshopping-selfie-celebrityworshopping-heylookatmyfabulouslife culture, it’s easy to think the grass is always greener, or that everyone but you has their act together or has an easy-breezy life. As someone who works intimately with hundreds of folks for a living, I can tell you that no one has it all together. Everyone has issues. It’s just which issues, in which department (relationships, money, sex, career, family, physical, mental and/or emotional health), and to what extent. And if you didn’t have the issue you have, you would have different one. But you’d have one. Or two, or three, generally all connected. It’s just the way it works.

The question is: How well do you acknowledge, accept, and then begin the process of addressing them?

The idea that there is some level of “perfection” that we can attain in our lives, in our mates, our work, our bodies, our lifestyle, is fiction. It doesn’t exist. No one is perfect. The mere fact that we are human beings means that we exist in order to heal and grow. It means that we are inherently flawed and are expressly alive to learn certain lessons and make whole the various parts of our mind, body and soul that are dis-eased.

When you come to terms with the fact that you are a beautifully imperfect being and become aware of the imperfections, love yourself in spite of them; then with compassion and discipline, set out to improve or change what you can. Then, and only then, are we able to start accepting one another: our family, our neighbors, our enemies, or anyone who is simply different from us in color or creed. Remember that fellow humans might be having a harder time recognizing and dealing with their own problems and pain right now — we all wake up to our humanness at our own pace, sometimes not of our own choosing. This is why we need a steady flow and heaping amounts of patience, empathy and kindness in our world.

Just as the journey is more important than the destination, the striving is more important than the actual perfection. It means we are constantly evolving into the best, most kick-ass, peaceful versions of ourselves, accentuating the positive and mitigating or transmuting the not-so-positive. The daily choices we make, the love that we give and receive, the joy and the sadness and anger and passion we allow ourselves to feel, knowing that it is not going to be the same emotion every day all day. There are sunny days and there are cloudy days, and we appreciate both equally. As we experience our challenges, we know that victory is right around the corner, and in those moments of happiness we know at some point we will again feel sadness or disappointment. It’s just the way it works.

How can we move toward a balanced, healthy life without knowing where we need to focus in order to heal and grow? Use this time the way a med student would study the body, inside and out: Truly see all of who you are and embrace it. Accept it. Love it. Then take a look at those around you and do the same. Then you can make an honest assessment about what needs a little therapy, a little remedy, or perhaps even surgery.

Think you might need someone in Private Practice to make sense of it all? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you avoid a soul-sucking Scandal and prove you most certainly cannot Get Away With Murder, preventing you from killing the dream of a prosperous, fulfilled life you absolutely can and deserve to have!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on February 12, 2015)

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