Can you accept the imperfections of yourself and others?

Hello my fellow human Beings:

If you have an A-type personality, you may find answering this question in the affirmative a bit challenging.  … Likely, you will have set higher standards for yourself than others and if you don’t reach up to those standards, you’ll feel mighty disappointed, perhaps a bit stressed, and with a heaping spoonful of feelings of failure.

If you found it difficult to answer YES to this question, you are not alone, I can relate.

You see for so much of my younger life I was a perfectionist.  I thought (at the time) that these perfectionist tendencies helped me to strive to be a better person and achieve success.  Yet, when on occasion these standards (or plans) weren’t met I encountered disappointment, stress and feelings of failure.

Oh what was I thinking?!

Was that really the way to live a happy and successful life?

Through life experience and gaining bits of wisdom (much of which from my meditation practice and a deeper understanding of the truths about life and myself), I realized that there is a better way to live, and be happy and successful. … It just takes some patience.

Gary Chapman, ordained Christian minister, marriage counsellor, and best-selling author of the book The Five Love Languages, describes this key characteristic of PATIENCE in his book, Love As A Way Of Life, as follows:

 Patience is accepting the imperfections of others [and ourselves.] …

Patience requires us to see others as we want to be seen ourselves.  People are not machines from which we can expect to get a perfect product. …

Each of us is in the process of change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.  If we are conscious of this reality, then we will be more patient toward family members, coworkers, and friends who at the moment may not be making the choices we wish they would make.  If we respect the process, we are more likely to have a positive influence on the outcome.  We do not control other people, but we do influence one another.  Patience creates an atmosphere that makes a positive influence possible. …

As we learn to be patient with others, we also need to be patient with ourselves.  We too are in process, even when it comes to growing in patience. …

When we are patient, we acknowledge to ourselves and others that every failure can be a stepping-stone toward success.

Gary reminds us that by accepting the imperfections of others and ourselves, acknowledging the positive in the situation, and learning from the experience, we can be happy and successful.

I recently had to put this advice into practice when leading a meditation class on PATIENCE. (Ironic, eh? Or was it a personal enlightening moment?)

30 minutes before class started, I discovered that I had forgotten to bring the book from which the class reading was to be taken.  Living more than 15 minutes away from the class location, there was no way I could go home, retrieve the book and return in time for class.

So what was I going to do?

Well, the first thing I did was to stop, be still a while, and just breathe.

This helped me be calm, clear-headed and connected to Source.

That in turn helped me accept my oversight as the current reality, set aside worry, and come up with ideas to resolve the issue, acknowledging that my other detailed class preparations gave me access to alternate resources.

I learned to practice patience right then and there.

Then, with my summary notes, stored memories, an added forgiveness meditation, and great class input, all the pertinent points from the “forgotten” reading were expressed and the patience class was successful.

(What I love most about teaching is that through it I continue to learn.)

So now I can answer the heading question in the affirmative.  YES!

YES I CAN accept the imperfections of myself and others. (Although I’m reminded that I am not perfect and that I am, as we all are, a work in process, even when it comes to growing in patience.)

So perhaps you will join me whenever you are next faced with imperfections, and together we will endeavour to:

  • take the time to PAUSE,
  • be still,
  • connect to Source,
  • accept the imperfections of ourselves and others,
  • recognize the positives in the circumstances,
  • find the learning in the moment,
  • and patiently take the steps toward a happy, successful and abundant life!

3 thoughts on “Can you accept the imperfections of yourself and others?

  1. I’ve been struggling with patience of late. Your blog entry arrived at the right time! Really helpful. Thank you!

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