Thursday 12 May 2011

We are inspirational in our Imperfection

Yesterday afternoon James and I went to toddler group.  There I saw a woman with an infant and a four year old daughter: I was so impressed by how she interacted with them, as she juggled the needs of two very different children, that I went up to her and told her that I'd been admiring her mothering skills. 

"Oh,  it was very different behind closed doors yesterday!" she said sheepishly.
"Well, at least you know now you're inspirational on a good day!", I answered.

It seems I'm weaving a thread about the people who inspire me at the moment.  Reflecting on those people this morning, I realised that being inspirational to others is truly accepting who we are.  It's more about embracing our imperfections, than about being perfect. 

Perfection is both boring and unattainable (thankfully).  Our so-called imperfections are just quirks, aspects of are character that are neither good nor bad, unless we judge them. 

The people who inspire me do so because they are comfortable in their own skin.  They accept themselves.  They may be self-centred, but they wear it lightly.  They may be generous, but they quietly.  They may be judgemental, but they know it's a reflection of their own prejudices. 

On the spiritual path, I've put enormous pressure on myself to iron out my own creases, to try to perfect my own imperfections.  In fact, I've been in the position  - as have so many others -  that all I've been able to see are my imperfections.

I could benefit from being less earnest about my own imperfections; the more I can just accept them gracefully, rather than creating a drama around them, a diatribe that runs along the lines of, "Oh, there I go again... When will I ever..."  That drama is just a story and as such, it can be a little fable or a high octane rollercoaster ride.  The choice is mine.   And I think I'd rather tell The Story of Me more gently.

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