I find seeing our imperfection as one of the most difficult things you can do. Easier to see in others. Harder to see in ourselves.
Weakness is a cousin of imperfection but not its twin brother. For having a weakness says that you either do not have the physical ability, the interest, or the knowledge to do something successfully. You may have tried and not succeeded. It’s easier to both see and to accept.
You just can’t “grasp” something although you have been told or exposed to it many times.
Sometimes weakness is identified as simply not liking to do something. If you have to walk the dog (and I happen not to like dogs) than not liking dogs is clearly my weakness when it comes to not being able to walk the dog.
Weakness sometimes comes about from not being able to resist. Buying the candy bar when in the checkout line at the grocery store comes about simply because I love chocolate so much. We say that liking the chocolate is our weakness and that is what made us by the candy bar we were trying to avoid.
Imperfection is more subtle. We may understand what needs to be done but can never seem to “pull it off” successfully. Our biases may cloud our judgment so our reaction to things “is off”. We may not read the situation right. We might be trying to solve the wrong problem.
I see imperfection as being more multi-dimensional. It is more fluid and harder to pinpoint than identifying a weakness. It speaks more towards the balance between our mind, our eyes, our heart, our ego, our experience, our expectations and our past.
This balance changes constantly depending on the situation. When there is an extreme imbalance in a person I find them unwilling to listen to what is being said. They also don’t see the other person that they are interacting with and how they respond making them less able to adjust their approach or thinking for the good of both in the long run.
Not being able to do something does not make us imperfect. What does make us imperfect, for each of us, is when engaging life we tend to lose “slightly” our balance between our mind, our eyes, our heart, our ego, our experience, our past and our expectations. The imbalance causes us to “not be perfect” in how we apply ourselves in a given situation.
Our imbalance amplifies our imperfection. Our imbalance blinds us to the need to readjust ourselves before rushing back into a situation. Detecting our imbalance and where it comes from is really, really hard to do.
We try so hard to do what’s right, by seeing what is real in front of us, that we always forget how many things play a role in this dance of interpretation within us. It’s hard to understand who has more influence within us over different issues. Is it mind, eyes, heart, ego, experience, expectations or our past?
Because we don’t have the time to check within us (because we have to react too quickly when presented a “situation”) we never always get this balance correct before making our choices. Life is too fast for this to happen when things appear before us. The imbalance, within us, could come from different directions depending on the issue.
We end up “missing” the mark and become discouraged by our results. Why did this happen to me? All of our imperfection, not only comes from within us but, plays a significant role on how we interact with others and ultimately the results we see when interacting in any situation.
Navigating all of the things inside of us takes a lifetime of work. Of trial and error. Of practice and reflection. Of discipline as well as sometimes chance, to “get past” who we are today and grow into something greater.
Stating boldly our weaknesses sometimes make us happy to hide from a challenge.
Reflecting quietly before acting, to search for the balance within us (to understand where we are out of balance and what is pushing us harder in one direction from within us), at critical points in our life, is the only way to “break through” the challenge, dilemma, or frustration before you.
We will never be perfect. Many times, we will not choose wisely or be wrong in our judgments and approaches to situations. My prayer is that, over time, we can all get to be “a little bit better” by understanding ourselves better and realizing the significant role that WE play in the lives WE choose to lead.