I can remember the first time that it was suggested to me that everything is perfect, right now, as it is. I could tell the person telling me really believed it as a truth. Over the years since then, however, I have had to interpret it in various ways to try and understand what she meant.
My first interpretation was that everything is as it needs to be at any given moment in time. I may not like everything, but if it is like that then that is how it needs to be so I need to change. And when I change, the situation changes.
Gradually I have become more in balance, more aligned with myself, and I have more times when life is pretty good. But perfect?
Then recently I read an interesting passage, a scrap of conversation between Brooke Medicine Eagle and an adopted brother of hers, Sparrow Hawk who had died.
“Even the ninth hell is total perfection!” said Sparrow [Hawk], grinning.
“The ninth hell is perfection? Are you kidding? I have a hard time seeing that!” I retorted.
“Of course, it’s perfect. Our human objective was one of freedom – even to do something as silly as to believe we were separate from the great Oneness, to bind ourselves in darkness and heaviness, to lose touch with the Light. And we did a magnificent job of it!! We proved to ourselves that even something as radical was part of our freedom. The exciting part is that now we have proved it, so we don’t need to do it anymore. We can let go of that.”
Brooke Medicine Eagle, ‘The Last Ghost Dance’
This made me revise my views on perfection – and to see that perfection isn’t just about Being, it is also about Becoming.
“The purpose of life is the evolution of the soul – to fully realize its sacred nature and express it. Each one of us has one simple task: to remember who we really are and live from that awareness.” JH Ellerby, ‘Return To The Sacred’
I used to work full time, before I got ill, and had every intention of returning to the workplace, different work possibly, like maybe writing or making stained glass, after I got better. Instead I got pregnant, something medics told us would not happen, my miracle baby M was born and I became a full-time mum.
Unfortunately I was not a born mother! I have never been great with other people being dependent on me, and have few maternal instincts compared with most of the full time mums I meet. (Children, yes love them; babies, I think I assumed I would be okay somehow if they were my own…) But not having work to return to, and having a particularly demanding baby to cope with, I was gradually forced into learning how to do this mother thing. I have learned about unconditional love, about patience, about being calm. I have learned how to focus and get things done in short bursts, or with interruptions. I get lots wrong, but what I get right takes on greater meaning.
In nearly all the time I have been a mum, however, I have thought about the things I would rather be doing, felt guilty, and tried to focus on what I am doing. I also assume I will need to earn money in some way in the future, so I continue to think about what job I would want to do in the future, like when M is at school full time, to see if I can work towards that now. Aimlessly drifting from one day to the next has frequently meant I achieve nothing and feel miserable. I need goals! I write, I dream, I craft, I try and distract or distance myself from the idea that I am ‘just a mum’.
And now suddenly I blink and realise I have reached a state where there is nothing I would rather be doing than exactly what I am doing. I love learning to be a mum, watching M succeed. I love turning our house into a home. I love creating my garden. I love doing crafts and making beautiful things. I love being out in nature, cycling or walking. I love celebrating the sabbats and esbats and connecting with everything around me. Everything else has, at least temporarily, drifted away, become unimportant.
How did I get here, I wonder? Then I realise, it is not the Being that is necessarily perfect, at one point in time, because frequently it isn’t! Rather, it is the Becoming. The Process. Me being part of everything that is growing and happening, here and now. Time itself has changed from trapping me at a particular point, to being part of the unfolding. It doesn’t matter how long or short this process is, because this point and every point within it is good. It doesn’t matter if the process gets finished, or stops abruptly because I die / return to spirit, or move, or get a job, or have any other major change, it just Is. And the Is is somehow Perfection. Weird!