A few weeks ago I wrote a celebratory post about coming out called, I Get to be Here. It's about the pain of hiding who we really are, the impact on physical and mental health, and the frustration of fighting with oneself over "who to be" in order to get the love and connection we need. I call it a celebration of coming out because the process of just being me as authentically as I can feels a little like coming out of the closet. Like I had been hiding part of myself, and now moving beyond the need to do that.
An interesting thing has been occurring since then. I've been repeatedly confronted with the realization that I don't get to be perfect. If I really am bringing all of me, I'd better learn to accept my messes. I'd better be okay with an occasional misstep. Because being me fully means occasionally dropping pizza on my clean shirt.
But boy, I feel incredible these days to know that I don't have to get it perfect. I don't have to be flawless. In fact, when something is "too perfect", it feels weird. I don't like it. I equate something that's "perfect" with something that's phony. It doesn't feel real! It feels so carefully done that it becomes lifeless. I look back at some of my old art. I would write a poem, and rewrite and rewrite it, trying to make it as close to perfect as possible. But in the process it lost its feel, and I lost my joy of creating.
In Japan, they have a wonderful concept called Wabi-sabi. It's an aesthetic characterized as "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". This is what artistry is all about. It's not about making something perfect, visionary, earthshaking, or otherwise. It's about laying your heart bare over and over again. It's about cycles, transformation, and evolution. That's when wholeness happens. All of this together as one complete system.
Trees are beautiful in their green fullness, in colorful autumn garb, and in the nakedness of winter. None is permanent, and all are beautiful. None is complete in itself, but altogether they form a singular whole of life in process.
Not one of us is perfect. Not a single one of us. That's why we need each other. We're a part of the same life system. We might be polar opposites, but we are still on the same poles. We occupy the same dimensions. Regardless of who you voted for, we still comprise one whole system.