I know one of the reasons why I don’t get around to doing some of the things I want to do is that as long as they remain undone, they retain the potential of being perfect.
You know, that half-knitted sweater still has the potential to fit me like a glove, but if I finish it I risk having to face the fact that I screwed something up and no, it doesn’t fit all that well after all. Or those posts that are so great in my mind, they never get written because I won’t be able to find the right words, and the finished product will demonstrate that my writing isn’t good enough to convey what I really mean. Or that project – my Thing! – on which no progress is made because there’s no way I can produce something that lives up to how awesome I’d like it to be. Or, really, whatever else I have sitting around half-done, or not done at all.
And since this is only one of my many stucknesses, attending Havi and Selma‘s Destuckification Retreat a few weeks ago made perfect sense to me. And what a treat that was! I’ll probably say more about it in coming posts*, but today I want to share a cool insight I’ve had yesterday.
*though I’ve said things like that in the past, and the promised posts still sit unwritten… we’ll see what happens this time!
At the retreat, we did a lot of Shiva Nata, but things have been a bit weird/hectic/whatever these last few weeks, so I didn’t do much of it since I came back – until three days ago. And yesterday morning, I was hit by one of those “moments of bing!” that Havi talks about (and that I have kind of whined about not getting much of in the past…)
A Shivanautical epiphany! Yay!
I was in bed, my gentleman friend had just gotten up and I was all ready to go back to sleep when it hit me – and it hit me so hard that I had to get up too, grab my journal, and do some writing. Here’s, in essence, what came out:
That potential of perfection that keeps me from doing the things I want to do in order for them to stand a chance of not turning bad, well, guess what? It doesn’t exist. At least not in the form I thought it did. The form in which that imagined potential of perfection exists isn’t perfect. I mean, the kind of perfection that lives in that idea is not desirable to me, it is not what I want.
That potential perfection, even if it was actualised, is deeply flawed. It is flawed, and for a very simple reason: there is no “me” in that (potentially or actually) perfect thing – it is not in any way infused with my essence, my me-ness. That perfect thing is cold and dry. And the stuff I want to put out into the world can have many qualities, but cold and dry are certainly not among them.
That hypothetical perfect blog post with all the right words, perfect sentences and everything may be clear and brilliant, but it is cold and mechanical. My personality doesn’t come across in any way through such a so-called perfect post. That half-knitted sweater that still holds the possibility of fitting me awesomely well – well, it doesn’t keep me warm right now. And my Thing, no matter how imperfect it’d be, would help more people if it was out there than it does living in that illusory perfect state in my head.
The monsters counteract
Now, my monsters could say that I simply have to create things that are “perfectly me” – and they did, of course! (What kind of monsters would they be of they had missed such an opportunity?) Thankfully, my epiphany was big enough that it came with an answer to that argument.
Warning: that answer is kind of hard to articulate clearly, and I have a feeling that it may make sense only to myself and my monsters (that’s what counts, right?), but there you go anyways:
Nothing can be “perfectly me” as long as it only lives within me. Those things I don’t create won’t ever be perfectly me because there is no me-ness in them: they can’t be infused with my essence so long as they remain within me. As long as they’re only within me, I am not within them; they have to come out of me in order to take with them – and contain within them – some of what I am.
Also, nothing will ever be “perfectly me”, not even any one of those things that I will create – nothing will, except for the sum of an infinity of things that I will put out into the world, every one of them containing a small kernel of my truth. Therefore, I must not look at any one thing in isolation but rather consider the whole of what I create – and the bigger that sum will be, the better it will reflect who I am.
I guess I’d better get started now, then!