Lesson No. 6: Nobody’s Perfect

In my opinion, the word “Perfect” is much over-used in reference to human beings. Our culture demands that we strive for perfection, even while we accept that no one outside of Jesus Christ has actually been capable of achieving it. And then again, we’re told that practice MAKES perfect. It’s mostly a matter of definition, so here’s mine: human perfection is living the life you were intended to live and being the person you were born to be. Period.

According to Holy Writ, everyone is given at least one gift – GIVEN the gift(s), not allowed to select ones that appeal to us from among many. It’s our responsibility to find our gift, own it, develop it, and use it for good.

If I could have chosen my gift, I would be one of the great music composers who have through the ages stirred our spirits, lightened our darkness, and elevated our hearts in praise to our Creator. So, sometimes being who I’m supposed to be may mean accepting that I’m not who I would rather be.

The old saw that we can do and be anything we want is not always precisely accurate. Some of who we are boils down to aptitude – the hand we’re dealt at birth.

For example, someone with only one arm is most likely not going to become a brain surgeon or fly a fighter jet. But then again, even though the famous pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm during World War I, he chose not to give up his birthright. He continued to perform after commissioning Ravel to compose a piano concerto solely for the left hand.

As creatures who often pursue the path of least resistance, some may think this gives us a free pass at striving to achieve. Not at all. Some of who we are is based on how hard we’re willing to work at it. No one becomes great at what they do by merely wishing it.

But as long as you’re working toward and practicing at being who and what your gift(s) allow, it follows that (while you may not be exactly where you’d like to be in your relationships, spiritual growth, or even your career), you’re exactly where you need to be right now. It means whatever you’re currently going through is preparing you for your next step – teaching you what you need to know in order to progress.

Meanwhile, we grow impatient. We put pressure on ourselves to be great, or get a move on and become a star. And there may be people around us who, for whatever reason (I’m convinced it’s out of a sense of their own failure to achieve their definition of “greatness”), feel it incumbent upon themselves to either verbally or passive-aggressively define OUR level of perfection. Ignore them. They’re still struggling to find their place.

Life is a process. And part of the joy of living is to explore and make the best of our boundaries. We are, after all, creative beings with an almost limitless ability to learn and become.

As long as you’re doing the best you can, you’re doing what you need to do. Relax. Hang in there, and enjoy the ride.

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