Friday, 19 October 2012

Is Perfection a Myth or a Reality?

As a myth, perfection is often viewed as something beyond the ideal, that is actually not attainable by an ordinary person.  Perfection can even be viewed as something that is faultless, or absolutely complete, that is, something that can not be improved upon, but what in our modern society fits this definition?  If you find the same answer to that question as I do, nothing, then it's not much of a leap for us to realise that this definition of perfection, describes something that is mythical.  How then, does it help us to view perfection as a myth?

Many of us grow up thinking we have to strive for perfection.  As adults, we may even find ourselves being perfectionists, and from my experience in our modern culture, this is one of the most challenging of human qualities that we may each adopt.  This often means measuring ourselves against the tallest stick, and after spending much time and effort, we still don't quite measure up.  In the end, we may even feel that we are often left to settle for second best, and that is not quite perfection.
Some people might be inclined to give up on perfection for this reason, after all, what's the point if it's impossible to achieve. Given that our culture defines, that without an ending, as infinite, it might be like trying to imagine what it is that exists at, or even beyond infinity. Wouldn't we first have to see ourselves as infinite beings, and for those that don't, it might suddenly seem reasonable to give up.  After all, what's the point of being a perfectionist, if no-one can actually succeed at it.
This seeming lack of success, is very likely to leave us feeling not too good about ourselves.  Being a perfectionist with a mythical view of perfection, is a tough path to walk, yet there are many people that walk that path, each and every single day, but there may be a better way.  The way to achieve this, is to view perfection as a reality, other than a myth.  So, what is required to shift our view of perfection away from myth and towards reality?
 Well, if we can accept that God is perfect, and that we each were created in his image, that means that we are all inherently perfect, but what has now changed in our definition of perfection?  Perfection is now something that can inherently be improved upon.  After all, wouldn't most, if not all of us, see ourselves as works in progress.  Each of us is still growing, at least to some degree.  Even the universe is still growing, and yet most of us would likely see it as perfect.

So perfection now becomes, something that can inherently be improved upon.  Actually, if we are trying to be perfect in reality, it suddenly makes sense to allow for the occasion where someone may come after us and attempt to improve upon what we have already created.  Instead of working towards an end point, we may find ourselves working towards the ideals that are present in any given moment, while realising that there may well be more to come, long after we've finished our particular work.

With this real view of perfection, it quite suddenly becomes much easier for most of us to relate to perfection.  Now as perfectionists, we are not trying to create beyond the ideal, we are actually working to create in our own image, and so our work becomes more like a part of us as individuals.  As with pretty much everything, we may each still come to our own unique view and understanding of perfection, just as we have our own unique view and understanding of ourselves. 

We should not though, see this as a reason not to at least attempt to do our best.  Perfection is not about a particular end result, but rather it describes the endeavour to show ourselves in the best possible light in any given moment, and the individual steps we may take towards achieving this.  This then forms part of the process of us creating in our own image, as we attempt to emulate God, as he created us in his image.

So it is, that perfection may well be a reality.  One where we express ourselves honestly, sharing of ourselves, so as create that which may well be seen as a positive reflection, of at least part of ourselves.  Therefore ideally, perfection is a journey we may each agree to undertake.  More precisely, perfection is simply something of which we realise we are naturally a part.  The realisation that we do exist in a perfect universe, yet a creation of God, in his own image.


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