We all know it doesn’t exist, yet we all seek to greet it. To walk down a linear path, and after a certain mile, a specific minute, reach out our arm and shake its hand. Hello perfection, we’ve made it. We found you. We’re finally here.
In each of our unique minds, our image of perfection looks different. To some of us, perfection is climbing up the rungs of a career ladder, reaching the top to look down on everyone who continues to wobble below. To others of us, perfection looks like hundreds—thousands—of friends who admire us, drawn to our magnetism. And then, to some, perfection is the accumulation of shiny things, expensive labels, glossy smiles. Perfection can mean zero conflict; perfection can mean endless entertainment. We all seek perfection while knowing it doesn’t exist.
Holding on to things makes us feel in control of the present; it makes us feel like we have a grasp of that perfection we’ve been seeking. Getting rid of everything makes us feel in control of the present; it makes us feel like we have control of the perfection we’ve been seeking.
The idea of perfection has been consuming me. My way of achieving perfection includes a lack rather than an accumulation. Nip here, cut there, toss this, lose that. Whittle away to perfection. To others, the opposite creates delusions of perfection.
In reality, perfection doesn’t exist. The present is our only reality. And we must find a way to be fully alive in the present—to feel pain, and joy, and love, and sorrow, all in one brief moment. Not a second of the present is perfect. Not a moment zips down a linear path. All we can do is look in the mirror at our flaws, look at our schedule of chaos, look at our homes a mess, and somehow find peace and joy amidst the imperfection.
Oh, how many countless hours I’ve stared in the mirror analyzing my incalculable physical flaws; oh, how many hours I’ve brushed paint over inches of each wall’s knicks and gouges; oh, how many hours I’ve replayed my own conversations and actions with others that have been fraught with errors. And how many moments of the present I’ve lost, never to regain—in search of perfection.
Perfection does not exist. Only the present does. Let’s find ways to live in the present. That might mean getting rid of a lot of what we have—stuff that gets in the way of us living in the present. That might mean stepping over the stuff we have—the stuff we can ignore so we can live in the present.
Burn, drown, tear up, ignore, refuse perfection. It robs us of the present—the only real thing that exists.
Because you, my dear, your life, I swear, is perfect already in this precious, present moment.
This week I’ve been helping my friend Rachel declutter and organize her home. Her main focus was the basement of her house where she’s not only storing…