Often we are so much more tolerant and generous with others than we are with ourselves. Is it possible to reach a point where we are at peace with who we are, warts and all, right here, right now?
I was walking a long a beach two weeks ago - a very quiet beach in a hard to reach place in a national park on the edge of the world. The sand was soft; in the course of the day the sky was every shade of blue from full sunshine to slade, rain-cloud grey; the back drop was stunning. Yes, there were even dolphins swimming in the bay. It was a truly ideallic place.
As I walked along the water's edge a shell caught my eye. It was large, green and beautiful. I held it up and looked at it from every angle. I have seen sea aneome shells before. They are fragile and exquisite and usually quickly smashed into little pieces by the sea. It's not often you see one so large, or in such good condition, and yet, it was not whole.
As I stared at it, taking in the complexity of the pattern on it's skin,the amazing shade of green that had not yet been bleached by the sun, it's white interior, the soft, porcelin like feeling of it, I was struck by how incredibly perfect it was, this natural artwork. Beautiful and perfect... and yet, broken. The sea had been at it. A large piece was missing from one side.
At that moment, it occurred to me that so many people are just like that shell - amazing, beautiful, incredible creations... perfect in their way... and yet, broken or damaged too. Is it possible to be both "perfect" and "broken"? The terms seem contradictory; the English language limited in this context. Yet here, in my hand, was that very object. A perfectly conceived object (the skeleton of a once-living creature); beautiful still, but with a big piece broken off it.
It made me happy.
We spend so much time trying to improve ourselves, face our demons, work through our issues, and so on and so forth ad nauseum... what if we could just accept that we are, right now, in our current state, whatever that may be, both perfect AND, perhaps, not quite as perfect as we'd like? Even broken. But beautiful in essence anyway.
Sit with that for a moment. Beautiful. Perfect. Broken.
What a gift, that feeling of peacefulness when the "striving" falls away and we can take a wide enough view of who we are and where we are up to to clearly see our own beauty. Warts and all.
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