Waiting for perfect……..

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

There is a story about a young man who’s freezing on the side of the road in Alaska.  He is hitching for a ride to Miami.  He’s so cold he can barely hold up his handmade sign.  After a long wait, a friendly truck driver stops and says, “I’m not going to Miami, but I am going as far as Fort Lauderdale.”

Dejectedly, the young man says, “Oh,” and turns the ride down.

Mark Nepo

I love this story because I can see in my own life where I have waited for ‘perfect.’  I convinced myself that my ideas or plans in life were the only way, and I wasn’t settling for anything less. The problem I experienced in this mindset, was that I missed wonderful opportunities that helped me grow and led me to my dreams.

The ‘perfection’ trap kept my mind locked up, and blocked the signs and synchronicity of the universe.  Once I let go of how it arrived or when, it came to me in the most unexpected ways and the timing was always right.

Trusting in this process, I use much less energy trying to do it ‘my way’ and life definitely has a much greater plan than the one I imagine.

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44 thoughts on “Waiting for perfect……..

  1. Oh, how aging has helped my perspective on perfection! 🙂
    I am sad about people who have debilitating problems with needing things to be perfect or all lined up. It may not be their fault, sometimes a disability. I like to tell young parents as a single mom of 3 little children I decided “to pick my battles.” Doors were closed on messy rooms and only when company were coming did cleaning become a “big deal!” Then my being enthusiastic and joining them in cleaning, did we feel like a team or family. I also feel they turned out to be better cook’s and parents in subtle, more interesting ways than I. 🙂

    1. Well, I don’t know if it’s better than Fiji, Mr Miami Vice. When I was 21yrs I went on a 3mth vacation with my girlfriend to the US. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale for your spring break and it was the best fun we ever had. I loved it it so much that I took a Nanny/Nurse job for a very rich couple In Danville CA and lived there a year tripping around San Francisco and the rest!

  2. I’ve come to believe that “perfect” people aren’t much fun to be around. We all have our flaws, insecurities, etc. It’s how we deal with them that matters. Thx for the reminder that it’s only when you let go of this illusion that you begin to live…

    1. So true Lori. It is an illusion that I have strived for at times. It is exhausting. When I am old and wrinkly (not long now…) I will continue to pass this wisdom on to my children’s children and teach them what I have learned.

  3. I love the quote. I have sort of been using that imagery lately of a sculptor sculpting something – say an elephant – taking away everything that isn’t an elephant. Such a great metaphor for life. Unlearning all the patterns and tapes and false stories we have made up over the years that have become part of us. I want to get rid of all that. Hahaha. Thanks Karen. Beautiful post.

    1. I really love that imagery Mary and I will definitely use that in my meditation class.(thankyou) Unlearning is over a lifetime! I want to get rid of it all too, and be sooooo light in my life. Blessings to you my friend.

  4. An excellent and sagacious offering, for which many thanks. Like Irene, I think the common notion of perfection can never be lived up to, and if it can, then it must accommodate all manner of apparent compromises which might appear to conflict with any idealised outcome. Creative people experience this very often, at the point of knowing when to stop working on a piece; it’s hellishly tricky, and one does well to bear in mind the old adage about “the perfection of imperfection”. Actually, the word’s etymology derives from the Latin ‘perficio’, which means simply ‘to finish’. Aquinas said that something is perfect when it sufficiently serves its purpose. Perfection should not be conflated with ‘excellence’, which is a common error. Anyway, I’m gabbling on a bit – please forgive me!

    1. Well said Hariod. It is never enough when we are striving for perfection, but boy we can try!! When I have moments of completion, it does feel ‘perfect’ and so Aquinas is right.Thankyou for your wisdom.

  5. Fantastic story! It is appropriate for me at the moment as looking around at where else I may chose to live I am getting disillusioned at not being able to find the ‘perfect’ area! Time to let go of that thinking pattern and compromise. Thanks.

    1. I understand completely! I did the same when we moved house 2yrs ago and the perfect house and area, was not the one I thought it would be. Let go, and watch for the signs, they will arrive in clear view. Sending you lots of blessings during your move Elizabeth.

  6. Never heard that story before, but it is a great illustration for ‘waiting for perfect!’ We do that so often in smaller ways, but the self-blocking is ultimately the same. The universe only wants the best for us, if we’d only just heed the signs!

  7. This is a great story…never have heard it, and I think everyone can at least one time or another understand where they’ve done the exact same. We end up getting in our own way much more often than we wish to consider, and I think we it is common for us (humans) to continue to fool ourselves that things just are lining up properly instead of seeing the more obvious. Really like the thought this post brings out. 🙂 Have a great day Karen ~

  8. Yes, I too can relate. But now I’m much more tuned into waiting and trusting. Whatever it is, it will always arrive at the right time. We just need to be tuned in and see it. That’s how we found our current home here too, next to the salt marsh 🙂

    1. I agree, being able to see it is the gift, which often means letting go of our pre-conceived ideas ha! You definitely found the right home. next to your beautiful salt marsh family.

    1. I agree, I think I am still trying to give up perfection on some level. The flow is easier. I have been meaning to send you a messageYvonne. I watched the most moving documentary on netflix on the weekend called “Alive Inside” It is the story of a man who brought music into the nursing homes to the patients who are suffering alzheimers and senility. If you have not heard of it, I encourage to watch this beautiful gift of change and see the hope it creates in the families and the loved ones with this disease. Let me know what you think.

      1. Karen, thank you. I wept when I watched as it made me so grateful for music and yet tore my heart too. But I am ever so grateful for you taking the time to give me the link so that I could watch it. I am going to try to sing more with Mom and her sister and talk with the people there as well about this! They had been playing music but stopped. Perhaps they will be inspired again like I was with this movie. Truly, thank you xoxo

      2. It is a moving documentary Yvonne, and it does give us some hope that we can re-connect on some level with our loved ones. I am so glad it helped you and perhaps remind the staff to continue the music program. Many blessings to you and your family.

      3. Thank you so much. In my life, music has been powerful and it is such an affirmation that it is indeed for others, especially those with memory difficulties. I can’t wait to play music w/my family when I see them again. It will be the holiday season and we will surely enjoy singing along to old favorites! ♥

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