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Letting Go Of Perfection To Know Perfection


The drive for perfection is an aspect of several psychological issues including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.

We may pursue perfect certainty, the resolution of our character flaws, an improved appearance, or situation, and even spiritual advancement. Whatever the perfection longed for, it becomes a source of suffering since the longing can never be fulfilled.

Opening To Perfection

However, at times - when the mind is still - we may find ourselves surprised by moments of unsought perfection. Such moments have nothing to do with the state of affairs, our looks, or accomplishments. Something unrelated to our daily concerns shines into the space between our thoughts, granting us an unexpected taste of perfection.

This internal experience of perfection suggests that perfection has nothing to do with our perception of what should be, nor is it something we can achieve. We can only allow it to permeate our awareness.

“Perfection is as elusive as silence,” writes meditation, and Ayurveda instructor Roger Gabriel. Yet, we can open to it by learning to accept each arising moment. Moments do not always deliver what we desire or consider good, but resisting what has already arrived is pointless.

We can also practice some form of meditation (e.g., transcendental, guided, mindfulness) so our mind is less clouded by stampedes of thought. In a still mind there is more opportunity for the perfection that is beyond appearances to shine through.

Letting Go of Fear

Though internally felt perfection is difficult to describe, it has an expansive quality we associate with fearlessness and love. This implies we can start letting go of the need for external perfection by practicing love’s qualities:

  • Being Truthful: saying what we mean, and meaning what we say.
  • Being Generous: giving from an attitude of abundance and living with gratitude.
  • Non-attachment: honoring our desires but remaining detached from outcomes.
  • Forgiveness: letting go of the resentments that rob us of inner peace.
  • Compassion: choosing to treat everyone with respect.
  • Being Patient: realizing others are not here to fulfill our expectations.

Letting go of external perfection may also require the assistance of an experienced counseling professional. Our fear of uncertainty or personal lack might be so overwhelming we need help releasing it. As the fear subsides, we are more likely to sense the subtle bliss of a moment’s inherent perfection.

“Perfection is in the silent spaces between things—the spaces between our thoughts, our breaths, or the stillness of a yoga pose. When you begin to recognize the spaces, you’ll recognize the perfection. Make space and time in your life for the perfection to shine through.” ~ Roger Gabriel

Source: Chopra/Roger Gabriel
Photo credit: Coconino Natl Forest