I don’t have to give up seeking excellence while I EMBRACE human imperfection with conviction, particularly MY imperfection.
My human neurosis (and anxiety) is reduced by the degree to which I accept life (or myslelf) as it is (as I am) and not as I want it to be
My favorite poem by Mary Oliver, speaking about embracing ourselves as we are in all our imperfection:
(my thoughts in parenthesis)
You do not have to be good.
(you don’t have to be perfect)
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
(you don’t have to be unkind to yourself)
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
(just allow yourself to be what you are)
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
(we all share this inherent human despair)
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
(but embracing our despair, our neurosis, our warts and our imperfections does not mean we can’t embrace and be part of life in all it’s splendor)
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
(once we decide to accept to embrace life and ourselves as it is, as we are, we return home)
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.