Are you a terrible person? Most of us would say no. I don’t think I’m horrible but there’s a huge divide between perfect and horrible, isn’t there?
Let’s begin by establishing that perfect doesn’t exist, so there’s that. But we imperfect people seem to walk around carrying some rather enormous baggage at times. This omnipresent reality that we have our inevitable flaws and blemishes, while being reconciled in theory, somehow still acts as the proverbial thorn in our side. Maybe it’s simply the weight of being human and being alive, but let’s consider that it’s also something we can unpack and discard for good.
Forgiveness usually pertains to something that was done, namely an injustice of some description; whether we did something or someone did something to hurt us. But forgiveness is, at its very essence, compassion. Forgiveness also includes looking at our faults, shortcomings and imperfections and making friends with them, accepting that they are an integral part of what it means to be a human.
Are you perfect?
Unless you’re delusional, you’ve answered no. Okay, now what? We’re not perfect…are we just going to leave it at that? Or will be spend a moment to understand what it means? Accepting our imperfections can be one of the most liberating things we can do or it can imprison on, depending on what we believe imperfection to be. If we believe imperfection is a state of being flawed that’s exclusive and unique to individuals, that’s a problem. We may begin to see our state of imperfection as being something that isolates us from the rest of the community. OR we can realize and accept that, to be human, is to be inherently imperfect. By accepting the universality of human imperfection and accepting that nobody, from the person who buses the table at the restaurant to our most adored Hollywood celebrity, can escape the fact of imperfection, we see that there’s a commonality to human being-ness that’s (dare I say) perfectly expressed in imperfection.