March 31, 2014
“Let someone love you, just the way you are, as flawed as you might be… To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.” – Marc Hack
This morning I found the quote above in my Kind Spring’s weekly newsletter. I thought about it while I cleaned up the kitchen and rocked my grandbaby to sleep. As I rocked, my thoughts carried this idea down a different track… “Choose to love another, just the way he is, as flawed as he may be. To think that he must not have any rough edges, or show any broken parts because either of you fear that if he does you will feel he is unworthy of your love, your forgiveness, patience, understanding or kindness, is to believe that no one is worthy of love, including yourself, unless they are perfect.
Which is not unlike thinking that nothing is good unless it is perfect.
I have stumbled on a nasty, thorny, unwelcome weed in my inner garden. I have uncovered a brule (bullshit rule). Because though I would deny it, I realize that somewhere underneath all the shiny smears of positivity, this ancient belief with its many runner roots is still very much alive in me.
I’ve been dismantling old Brules (bullshit rules) that I’ve lived by and under based on the models that have shaped my reality. It’s been quite a fascinating project, really, figuring out what some habitual reactive behavior of mine is really rooted in.
What, in my world, is this concept we call “perfect”? Who determines what constitutes perfection? Does it mean to never make a mistake? But who decides it is a mistake? A wise woman once told me that there is no such thing as a mistake–only lessons–only learning–only experiencing. Is being perfect more like what Henry Higgins suggests in My Fair Lady, “why can’t [you] be like me”; think and do things the way I think and do things! Does being perfect mean we should measure up to the standards we see in the movies and media, or to measure up to the spiritual standards of our religions and of the demands of the gods and goddesses that we have created?
What does someone need to be like to be acceptable to me?
I don’t know. I think it is subject to the weather and that the truth is closer to Henry Higgins’ definition than any other.
My thoughts took a right turn. (Or maybe it was a left turn…) A rainbow is beautiful, but it is in truth, broken light. Imperfect Light. Flawed Light, if you care to think of it that way.
Perfect, unbroken light is “white”–pure colorless illumination. Break the light by shining it through a mist of water or a crystal and suddenly you have color…beauty…brilliance…the promise of sunshine after rain, of light pouring through the cut glass of a window or a cup, spraying rainbows across floors and walls and ceilings.
My perfect union with the Divine, perfect Light–is broken when I am poured into the prism of this human body to live a human life experiencing a physical, three dimensional universe. If I allow the Perfect Light to shine through me, I will cast rainbows over everyone and everything that moves through my space; all the attributes of the Perfect Light. If I close myself off from that Light…there is only the grey darkness, shadows.
No one is ever unworthy of love–of kindness and forgiveness. The Light simply shines, always, on everything and everyone. The Light is always there. If I am willing, the Light will shine through me, breaking apart and splashing the colors of It’s nature on everyone about. If I am unwilling and choose to block the Light, the Light is still there, still shining, never retreating, never failing–but I cast only shadows.
Is this a model for living that I can build upon? Can I let go of my belief that we all must always try to be “perfect” because our deservedness of love and respect is in direct proportion to the perfection we have achieved? That is like asking ourselves and others to BE the perfect Light rather than a vessel for It’s refraction in the world. That is like demanding that we be the sun, instead of the rainbow makers.