Nobody’s Perfect, yet Everyone Is Whole and Complete
“Well, nobody’s perfect.” ~Some Like It Hot (1959)
Nobody’s perfect (a quote from one of the greatest comedies of our times) resonated with audiences back in ‘59, and still does more than half a century later.
Being perfect is a thorny and touchy subject for most of us. Yet, society in general tends to seek perfection, in one form of another, to the point where it turned into a very lucrative industry—think of advertising, plastic surgery, and all the promises of a better you.
I can name at least these flaws (premature grey hair, droopy eyelids, dark circles under the eyes, spotty skin, uneven eye brows) faster than I can type. By the time I’m done with the body the list grows to a whole lot more … I’ll spare you the details. And these are skin deep.
In the name of perfection we seek, we manipulate, and we struggle. And we become experts in finding fault with ourselves and the world.
The way I see it is:
We are not perfect. Life is not perfect. Nothing is perfect.
If I stated anything to the contrary in the past, I’m sorry.
Perfection is subjective, changeable, deceptive, and, above all, unattainable.
When we make peace with imperfection wherever we see it, we basically make peace with reality and life itself.
We don’t need to celebrate our flaws, but we don’t need to feel ashamed either. We simply need to accept them at this moment for what they are.
Having flaws doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us. If no one is perfect, then imperfection is the norm and we don’t need to fight it, reject it, or try to change it.
We’re all experts in finding fault. So let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of imperfection.
Today’s article is about something we tend to confuse or associate with not being perfect: not being complete, or not being enough.
Here is the thing.
Life is not perfect. But it’s whole and complete. It was, it is, and it will always be.
And by extension, you’re not perfect, but you are whole and complete the way you are. You’re not missing anything and you don’t need more than what you already have—within and without.
This idea of wholeness is something that we grapple with because we associate it with all the things that are not right with us. So …
We look for a better half (partner, spouse, love interest) to complete us. We seek completion in almost every aspect of our lives (adventure, education, a large social circle, wealth, status, and so on).
And when we get what we think we were lacking, we either feel it wasn’t enough, or the euphoria of attainment wears off sooner than we’d like.
How can we be imperfect but complete?
When we see flaws as things that we need to fix, we feel we’re incomplete till we deal with the flaws. We also project the same thought process onto others and every other aspect of life.
From physical imperfections to mental health and emotional wellbeing, we want everyone to have the best—and by best we mean the most perfect thing—life has to offer. For example,
Don’t you wish that we could give every person who can’t see the ability to see? We want everyone to experience the world in full color.
We want every human being to be able to hear melodies that transcend, and dance to the rhythm of life.
We wish for every human to have a body that fully functions, an optimized intelligent brain, emotional mastery, all the way to having the perfect hair and style.
What we see as a flaw or imperfection, however, comes usually with something else—something we tend to overlook—the amazing ability of life to
Adapt and compensate
If one of our senses does not function, other senses pick up the slack and become far more heightened than the average.
An amputee strengthens other parts of the body to make up for the lost limbs.
In the most devastated parts of the world, children manage to genuinely smile and innocently play.
The hospitality of people in the most impoverished communities knows no bounds.
Every aspect of life adjusts to change and makes the best (not the most perfect) use of what we already have. And if that’s not whole and complete, what is?
What happens when we see wholeness in everything and everyone?
When I look at the people around me, and see them as the unique, imperfect, and complete people they are, I feel freer—to be true to myself, to do what feels right without guilt or shame, and to be kind for no other reason, other than kindness itself.
Seeing things as whole and complete doesn’t mean that we stop wanting to grow. That would be going against life.
A seed is as whole and complete as the tree that it grows into. The same applies to every one of us.
Organic growth comes naturally and calmly out of life’s desire to express itself, not to make up for something that’s missing.
In this case we follow our hearts to express who we are, not to change what’s wrong with us or with others. We create, invent, explore, advance, learn, teach, and share because of the impulse of growth within all of us—not because we want to fix life.
When we see the completeness in everything, we don’t feel bad for anyone. They’re not missing out on, or lacking anything. We see each other as equals, not better or worse off.
Then we extend a kind or helping hand with respect and acceptance and without ulterior motives and expectations—no ego boosting, no pity, and no improvement agenda, just being part of life’s hand of compassion.
Nobody’s perfect but everybody is whole and complete. Just like each drop of water carries the wholeness of the ocean, each one of us encapsulates the wholeness and power of the universe.