Incoming Messages

12 Dec

In a newsletter on scrapbooking—a craft I do not do, but watch from afar; all crafting is porn for me, as I am completely unmotivated by the possibility it will come out imperfect…more on that later—I stumble on this beautiful commentary on creation and fear:

Thinking this is the one and only chance to tell this story so it simply must be perfect. Oh man, what a way to stop you in your tracks. What does perfect mean to you? And who is the judge? Perfect is so very relative. What is perfect to me in this moment may be entirely imperfect to you. To me, perfect is actually taking time to tell your stories. Risking that bit of yourself to document your experience. Perfect is carving out a bit of time to be creative. Perfect is embracing the imperfection inherent in creating something that comes from your heart, and your head, and your hands. Let it go. Simply begin writing. Tell the story in simple, plain sentences one word at a time. Keep writing until all the words have spilled onto the page and then go back and edit. Perfect is actually telling the story rather than letting fear keep you from sharing the lives and lessons of your family.

I sit down across from my therapist and she has me shuffle a deck of Wisdom Cards. The card I pull out reads:

I do not have to become perfect, I am perfect just as I am.

If I wait to become who I want to be when I am perfect, I will be waiting all my life.

I read this article in the New York Times. Two days later a loved one forwards the link to me.


3 Responses to “Incoming Messages”

  1. Lynne December 13, 2007 at 8:54 am #

    Ahh, yes, the perfection fear, a daily battle. There’s so many imperfect things in our lives (many of which we have no control over), that we cling tightly to those that we CAN control, when we often should just let them go.
    I have cupboards full of finished projects that I have not given away because I felt they were not “good enough” to give to other people. All I could see were the flaws. When I finally gave one away, the recipient only saw the beauty and the generous gift of my time (which, I think, meant more to her than the piece). I still see flaws in all my projects, and have walked away from or shoved in a closet more than one in frustration. But, when I finally muster up the courage to proclaim it “done” and give it away (a most important step)…even if it’s never used, it’s still a wonderful exercise in letting go…
    You told me once to accept my mistakes because we are all imperfect. It’s a brilliant bit of advice, and I offer it back to you with the same spirit of courage and friendship that you offered it to me.

  2. Yolanda December 13, 2007 at 1:01 pm #

    Wow. I said that? Talk about talking the talk….

  3. Lynne December 14, 2007 at 10:33 am #

    Yup! It was about six months ago when I was flipping out about Beauty and the Beast. I think I still have the email if you want proof…;P

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