PERFECTLY IMPERFECT PASSIONS
Rev. Pam Cosby Brandman
There was a time when I strove to be perfect. I think it peaked for me when I was about twelve years old. On Easter morning I had on a beautiful new green and white flowered dress. My long blond hair was carefully brushed and held out of my face with a dark green headband that matched the belt on my dress. Sitting on our front porch, the full skirt was spread out carefully in a semi-circle around me as if I had been posed by a photographer. (My dad had been a photographer in World War II.) With a bare hint of a smile, I sat up tall and proud that I was on my way to be a perfect adult in the world.
Of course, life disappointed me. Whenever I thought I had mastered being perfect, something would happen to trip me up and remind me of my humanity. No matter how hard I tried, being perfect always eluded me.
Sometimes people give up when they reach adversity and obstacles in their path forward. We judge ourselves and our tentative first steps when we try something new by the standards set by others that may have practiced for many years to master the art of painting, public speaking, skiing, or learning to use our new computer. Of course, Van Gough began as a beginner! Of course, Ernest Holmes earned a Certificate in Elocution before he inspired the audiences flocking to his Sunday talks. Of course, Lindsay Wagner fell in the snow many times before she won Olympic Gold! Of course, Steve Jobs invented the Apple computer and then was fired from his own company because his business skills did not match his pioneering computer science skills. And then his company hired him back again.
What gives us the courage to pick ourselves up and try again when we fall is a sense of passion and purpose in whatever it is we are attempting to do. Every mistake is only a learning step towards reaching our dream. Rather than freezing with self-condemnation and fear, we let the Universe playfully experiment and practice with delight as It expresses Itself through us. Instead of becoming a clone of everyone else, we are learning to be someone new, to be ourselves and share our unique gifts with the world. This is the joy of being alive – and being perfectly imperfect!
Love and light,