"I have come to understand that everyone - the saintly guru, the erudite scholar, the compassionate psychotherapist - is an imperfect human being with neuroses and problems and rough edges not unlike yours and mine. From rubbing up against the human dimension of the so-called enlightened ones, I accept now that the point of life is not to reach perfection but to befriend the fact that human beings are works in progress."
"Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow"
I just finished reading the book that this quote comes from. In parts of it, I felt that Elizabeth Lesser, one of the founders of the Omega Institute in New York, and I were very much aligned. Conversely, there were parts that didn't resonate with me at all. That's why this quote, which appears towards the end of the book, stood out to me as a reminder that I don't have to agree with, or like, everything she has written. In her acknowledging "that human beings are works in progress," she's opening the door for me to accept that in her... and in myself. I find great comfort in this.
As I continue these weekly writings and step back into teaching more classes in the studio, the "people pleaser" and perfectionist in me often resurfaces. It's not necessarily others' expectations of my abilities that bring about feelings of doubt or lack... but my own. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why is it so difficult to be "imperfect human beings?"
But that's when compassion and acceptance move to the forefront of my practice. Which, of course, ultimately informs my writing and teaching. Striving to be as open about the flaws and challenges in my life and practice as I am with my accomplishments and knowledge, I believe actually enriches our shared experiences.
Here's to befriending our imperfections!