Imperfection – The place I Begin


“Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent. All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.”  John Ruskin

I continue to wrestle in my life and work with a more humble acceptance and personal embrace of ‘imperfectability’; I am a living example that neither efficiency nor precision, nor perfection, nor successes characterizes me but rather stops and starts, imperfections and failures shape me.  I think maybe my soul’s greatest expression comes through imperfection nobly embraced. Perhaps from there, I may learn to value in others what is beautifully imperfect and to appreciate that this is the meaning of being human.

I see how my own unique flaws – imperfections and failures make my life significant and rich. When I accept my own imperfection I am freed to look for the good in others. And still, I face this truth and ask for the inner grace to let its liberating power liberate me from all the cracks and flaws that hinder me- holding me back when I should venture forth.

Ah to embrace the empowering idea that my life is what it is, which is as it is, and let that transform me for this moment.

A Parable

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house”.

Blessings to all cracked pots!