I am not perfect.
In fact, I often believe that I am so far from it and that its target is way too small and the journey is beyond too tough. Because I make a million mistakes . . . all the time. And each mistake is bigger and larger and more daunting than the one before it.
And I don’t seem to learn from my mistakes. Too many times, I make a mistake, understand the mistake, live another day, and make the same mistake again, repeating the cycle more times that I can count.
On top of that, it is not easy to personally or publicly admit that I make fantastic, blunderous mistakes.
Hmmm . . . well, check that. There are some mistakes that are easy to own. I spent quite a bit of an evening not too long ago ripping out all kinds of mistakes in a quilt that I am building. I did not see them until I was a long piece down the mistake trail, which meant that not only was I required to spent time undoing what I had wrongly done, but I had hours of time to ponder out the origin, cause, and cure of my errors. And from my boisterous grunts and growls, (meant to alert those within earshot that I was upset), my family knew I was so.
Likewise mistakes with my recent construction project are easy to own. I am a newbie to building, to using power tools, to measuring, cutting, and hammering pieces of wood together. My expectations on how perfect I should be are skewed to the lower end. Thus admitting that I make tons of mistakes is rather easy. Besides that, construction mistakes are something that are easy to see and difficult to hide. Admitting them is a matter of course rather than a matter of being honest and forthright.
It is everything else that fits into the box called mistakes that I find hard to admit. The list of those types of errors is a list that grows day by day. I fail to be empathetic. I fail to curb my vocabulary, choosing words that harm way more than words that help. I fail to complete and keep my promises. I make mistakes in terms of what I think, gravitating towards thoughts that generate negativity quickly rather than positivity slowly. I think things, say things, and do things that I shouldn’t. It can be and is embarrassing.
Recently, after reading some news story about a senseless murder, I thought and said that the perpetrator “should be shot and I’d be happy to do it.” Not only did I think it, I said it. To hell with justice, a fair trial, to wading through facts and fiction, I read a few paragraphs and spouted off as if I was in the know about it. I went directly from non-violent to violent in a flash of a moment. Mistake.
I also had it in my mind that I was smart enough and bright enough to figure out the immigration issue, the next steps with the Mueller Report, climate change, and the workings of social security – generally all by myself. Big mistake.
Finally, I thought that my solutions to everything that was happening within my immediate family, friends, community, tri-county area, state, and the near midwest were spot on correct. And sharing those solutions was a good to great idea. Well, big huge mistake. All wrong.
While ripping out those quilting mistakes, I had time to think about it. All of it.
I am not perfect.
Yet, there is much in the world around me that actually is perfect, that has no mistake.
Rain. The Forest. Animals. The Sky. The Ocean. Time. Stars. The Solar System. Math. Plants. Color. Wind. Ice. Mountains. Apples. I could go on and on and on. And it is actually a great list to generate – a list of everything one considers perfect.
Horses running in a field – perfect. Light bouncing off a hillside – perfect. Twenty-four hours in every day, every week, month, year – perfect. Gravity keeping everything in place – perfect.
I’ll let it be known that I have worked on the perfect/imperfect list many times. And my result is always a lopsided list, showing me that there is by far more perfect in my world, than imperfect.
And as much as I would like to add my name to the perfect list, I can not. In fact, every time I spend time wondering about the perfect/ not perfect list, I have never made the cut. I think I am imperfect by design. Making mistakes, being well less than perfect creates a great balance in my world. I always have a lot to work on. I have much to improve. Much to change. A lot to consider.
I keep up my hope by seeking the thoughts of others in terms of mistakes, failures, imperfection / perfection.
– Wayne Gretzky – “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
– Henry Ford – “The only real mistake is one from which we learn nothing.”
– Maya Angelou – “Every mistake is just another lesson.”
– Sandra Day O’Connor – “No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.”
I would be a wise woman if I put these types of inspirational thoughts in front of me at all times to remind me that everything is possible, even perfection. But, as you might expect, I often fail to do so. Thus, the journey continues.
In the meantime, my deepest apologies for all the mistakes I have made today alone, and an advance apology for the mistakes I will make tomorrow.