Finding Peace in Being Perfectly Me

November 19

I went to visit Sophia a couple of months before her passing. She shared with me some wisdom that was helping her on her cancer journey. She said that she had had great expectations for herself, that if these were achieved, she’d be some kind of super woman. She said that she had to remind herself that it’s o.k. to be Sophia. She’s doing O.K. She doesn’t have to be superwoman.

I need to be reminded that I don’t have to be superwoman. It’s O.K. to be me. Like Sophia, I have high expectations for myself. In fact, I think and act as though by my own will power I can become perfect, never saying anything hurtful, never getting annoyed by others’ habits or upset by trivial inconveniences.  Not only do I think I am superwoman, I act as though I can be as perfect as the Divine!

In healthy spirituality to be “perfect” doesn’t mean that we always do everything right. To acknowledge to myself my inability to be always wise and loving is to open myself to empathy with others, who are human like me and do not always live in ways that are wise or loving. Good spirituality and good mental health recognize our shared journeys. Life isn’t about how we can be perfect but how we can love and be loved, fail and be renewed in our imperfection and incompleteness.

One day a few months before my friend Anne died from ALS, I was present with her at the same time as another of her friends. The other friend was giving her a spiritual pep talk, “We’re going to beat this. God will answer our prayers and you will be healed.” She turned to me and said, “Isn’t that right?” I was stunned speechless, not prepared to promise on something that I could not deliver. But Anne interjected before I could answer, and in the whisper of what was left of her voice said, “I am whole.” Anne was not cured; She was not perfect; but she knew that she was held in love, and therefore she was whole.

Gratitude Prompt: Give thanks for the wondrous gift of who I am.