“In seeking to understand our limitations, we seek not only an easing of our pain but an understanding of what it means to hurt and what it means to be healed. Spirituality begins with the acceptance that our fractured being, our imperfection, simply is: There is no one to “blame” for our errors – neither ourselves nor anyone nor anything else. Spirituality helps us first to see, and then to understand, and eventually to accept the imperfection that lies at the very core of our human be-ing. Spirituality accepts that “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” (The Spirituality of Imperfection, p. 2)
When we human beings are not doing well we have a few common issues that we can expect to experience:
- We have all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking.
- We cannot see options, we only see obstacles.
- We lose capacity for creativity and problem solving.
- We blame and judge, defend and deny.
- We end up anxious, freaked out, insecure and neurotic. Depressed too. Definitely, definitely we lose the ability to experience joy.
Unless this. Unless something interferes with the family system that is seeking to kick your a** and bring you down so that it can thrive. That UNLESS can show up in all sorts of weird ways. But for me, it usually involves someone or something larger than the system I grew up in. This interruption and interference (in my experience) is an expression of God’s Spirit moving into my neighborhood. Can you think of people that have shown up and supported you in your recovery efforts? (Maybe write them a note of appreciation!!)
“The spirituality of imperfection speaks to those who seek meaning in the absurd, peace within the chaos, light within the darkness, joy within the suffering – without denying the reality and even the necessity of absurdity, chaos, darkness, and suffering. This is not a spirituality for the saints or the gods, but for people who suffer from what the philosopher-psychologist William James called “torn-to-pieces-hood”. We have all know that experience, for to be human is to feel at times divided, fractured, pulled in a dozen directions…and to yearn for serenity, for some healing of our “torn-to-pieces-hood.” (The Spirituality of Imperfection, pp.2-3)
Here’s the sucky truth: life doesn’t get all fixed. But what can happen is that we can figure out what imperfection expressed within the context of spirituality means for us as individuals and us as a tribe. How can you see that messy imperfection living out in your life today? Can you find a way to send that lovely message of shame-busting, “It’s ok. Accidents happen.” to someone in need of it? Are you willing to say the same to yourself?