Happiness is the ultimate goal towards which most of our actions are manifested either consciously or unconsciously so it is not surprising that a lot of myths and misconceptions have shrouded the concept. One of them being the concept of finding happiness in perfection, which leads one on a path similar to a mirage, yet we do not realize it often. So let us see how we can relate perfections and happiness.
We all have imperfections and in our strive for perfection we end up causing pain to self and the people around us. As a human we are not destined to know everything, we are not destined to not make mistakes but yes we are destined to learn something new everyday. Acknowledging imperfections in self is beginning of the process of change and embracing imperfections in others is the beginning of the process of acceptance.
I am sharing a small story that I had read a few days back in my own words.
There was this old man staying in a remote village in the foothills. All the village folk had to fetch
water for their daily needs from the river flowing nearby. The old man had two pots in which he fetched water. The pots hung from a long stick that the man would place on his shoulder and stutter on the path every day.
One of the pots that the old man used was perfect while the other had cracks in it. Everyday as the man would fetch water, most of the water from the cracked pot would seep away. This continued for days, weeks and even in the months when the heat of the summer sun dried everything. The pot would think of its cracks everyday every day and wonder why doesn’t the old man discard me? What purpose do I serve for him?
One day, when the pot could not hold his anxiety any longer asked the man, ‘You have two pots, one is perfect while I am all cracked. Why don’t you discard me?’
The old man just smiled and asked the pot ‘Have you noticed the path that we take everyday?’
The pot replied, ‘No’ and the old man asked him to do so the next day.
The next day the pot noticed that there were flowers all along the path between the old man’s house and the river. The old man knew that the pot had cracks and so had taken time to plant seeds. The water that seeped from the cracks of the pot watered the seeds which bloomed into beautiful flowers.
We are stuck in a vicious cycle of imperfection and judgment. Neither I nor the people around me are perfect and for a perfect life I need to learn to live with imperfections. Two simple things can help us break this vicious cycle. While requires you to be in a state of action the other calls for inaction.
- Forgive yourselve and the others for being imperfect and
- Stop being judgmental about self and others
I need to stop the process of continuous judging self and the others. Resisting imperfections stops me from seeing the beauty and the opportunity. When acceptance is in totality that we can be happy with ourselves, our partners, our work and in turn our life.
From the spiritual perspective, it is better to accept the current stage of being and start from wherever you stand currently so no point in waiting to be perfect. Of course when you are deeply into meditation and dive into the depths of silence, you will find that pure and calm state of mind which is actually the condition of peace, even better than happiness as we understand in the everyday usage.
So basically whatever way you look at it, materialistically or spirituality, you should strive for inner perfection, rather you should just strive for going deeper into the self and perfection would come of itself and that is real perfection rather than worrying about outer perfections.