The Mask of Perfection: Deconstructing the Myth
“What is perfection?” The instructor’s voice was quiet and soothing, at odds with the turmoil this question evoked inside me.
My heart started thumping loudly. Imperfectly. Wasn’t this supposed to be a class of mindful reflection - relaxing? Why did feelings of lack immediately rise up inside me as this question was posed?
It was my first experience with Kundalini Yoga. When a friend asked if I wanted to join her, I thought, “Why not?” I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know what it was about, but it coincided perfectly with one of my goals for 2018: to step outside of my neatly controlled patterns in life.
I want to live wider, broader, more expansively. One way I am achieving this is by stepping outside of my comfort zone and saying “Yes” to experiences that feel slightly uncomfortable yet inexplicably entwined with excitement as well.
This had been one such moment.
The class was filled with gentle yoga poses, reflective questions and movement in dance. It was really quite delightful.
So there I was, partnered up with a stranger - feeling a little uncomfortable. As I reflected on the question of perfection, I could feel a lump rise in my throat. Questions instead of answers rose up in my awareness:
“How do I know what perfection is?”
But even more surprisingly:
“What if my answer isn’t perfect?”
The irony of it all caused me to chuckle. And just like that, the judgement which I held myself to was revealed. None of us want to reveal our imperfections. We create elaborate masks to preserve this very illusion, this mythical state of perfection. But in the creation of these soul disguises, we face the pain of disconnection from our true essence. And so we create more and more elaborate ruses to hide from the pain. If only we can appear perfect, perhaps others will love and accept us.
Perhaps we will learn to love and accept ourselves as imperfect beings.
It’s a madness; a vicious cycle of judgement. Wanting to be ourselves but having masked it for so long that we have almost forgotten our own unique voice. And perhaps that’s the answer! After all, if we were perfect, what would be the point? We would have nothing further to learn or experience. And with that thought came another, “I actually love the mystery of life and the way it continues to unfold. It would be boring to know it all.”
My heart settled into a quiet rhythm, a soft imperfect beat; one that was the signature of my soul. It soothed me, calmed me as I heard the message, “You are all you could ever imagine and more in the eyes of the divine.”
And just like that the answer came to me. Perhaps it is the striving to accept everything without judgement that is perfection.
My pen felt steady as the ink flowed onto my notepad with a smooth rhythm that felt true blue. Fear and excitement embraced my throat chakra.
The group held the space for each of us to share, without judgement, exploring our limiting beliefs around the very notion of perfection.
Then it was my turn to speak.
With my throat burning, I spoke quietly at first but with more conviction as I was received with silent acceptance in all my imperfections:
“Perfection is the ability to receive and process whatever comes our way in life as being no better or worse than what others experience. It is the connection with the divine source that lives inside us all. It is the understanding that perfection only resides in the way we observe the patterns and illusions of life. Perfection is the simplest and purest form of thought, a feeling of peace. It is a flower growing in the ditch despite being surrounded by rocks. It is the memory of those we love without wanting to alter the experience. It is the glint of the sun on the water as it echoes in our hearts with the wisdom of love.”
As I finished, warmth spread through me like the liquid blue of a hot bubbling spring; creating a sense of jubilation in both speaking and being heard. I was seen by everyone, including myself, as no more and no less. An imperfect being on the exciting journey to finding my own unique essence; the purity of that moment felt perfect.
What is your idea of perfection? How does it reside in your heart? Does it limit you with judgments of how things should be?
Food for thought as we begin summer. Perhaps perfection is not something that should hold us back but instead instill an adventure and willingness to explore all possibilities without fear; safe in the knowing that no matter what happens we are enough.
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Sending you all love and light,
BSc | BEd | Reiki Master | Writer
Dawn Williams is a Reiki Master in the Usui Shiki Ryoho/Tibetan Reiki Method of Natural Healing. Her work infuses Reiki with the Resonance of Symbolism & Intuitive Story. Open the Portal of Services to discover how to plug in to your own inner magic.
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The Mask of Perfection: Deconstructing the Myth