Wow...hard to believe it has been this long since I wrote a blog post here. Life has been busy pushing me to grow, damnit. I've been pushing back, resisting, of course....and that has made for some...shall we call it "personal discomfort" (more accurately, downright angst!). Because, one simply cannot win against the force of Becoming. Period. Which, incidentally, is of no great consolation when a human just wants to be pissy and miserable and feel small :-).
I've been thinking about imperfection, of late. And how the world's view of us can warp our own vision of ourselves. Even when we've had the best foundation in life (and there are many, many people who can't say they've had that). I'll give you an example from my own life. Which strangely enough, came up again recently with the daughter of a friend and patient of mine. Read on, Christian soldiers....
I have a small mole on my left cheek (yes, yes, yes...the cheek on my face, people). I grew up with mummy telling me that it was a "beauty mark" and that she loved it. Now, mind you, my mom has a beautiful mole on the right side of her mouth...which REALLY is lovely. And I've always secretly wished I had inherited it!
But anyway, this is always how I'd related to my own little mole: just an okay part of my face and honestly, I hardly thought about it or even really "saw" it. Then, one day, a lovely lady patient of mine (who was spending a long time in my chair because we were reworking a lot on her dentally-she had loads of time to inspect every aspect of my face as it hung over hers! ): looked up at me compassionately and told me that my mask was resting on and indenting "the only blemish" on my face.
For a few seconds, I had no idea what she referring to. Then I realized, with a bit of actual shock, that she meant that
little mole of mine. I thought about it for the rest of the day! The mole(hill) had been turned in to a mountain (and Mohammed came to it :-) ). I went home that evening and took a good, long, hard look in the mirror at it...now as if I had never seen it before.
And actually, I had NOT seen it before....at least never from this perspective of being a flaw. I'd believed my mother when she said it was a beautiful thing. Now I saw its ugly twin...should I have it removed? But yuck, I hate pain. Well, but, should I have general anaesthesia and have it incorporated into a tattoo of a bird or a flower?).
I kept staring until I processed it full circle from ugly to perfection once more. But this was a new kind of "perfection", a much better one than the blind acceptance of my mama's assurances. (What is that horrible saying about having a face only a mother could love?). Because this was a surety of a perfection which embraced its inherent imperfection.
And I do believe that this lesson was a gift to me, via that well-meaning patient of mine. No, I did not "accidentally"
jab her with any sharp instruments as we continued our work together. And no, neither did I make her look like the Wicked Witch of the West: she is the proud owner and chewer-er of some wonderful new teeth. Just in case you are wondering.
The Teaching extended way beyond a small physical entity. We've got to learn to see ourselves this way. Perfect at our core. Made in the Image of the Most Perfect One. Each soul, a multi-faceted precious gem. But the jewel may be layered in some dirt, maybe has a little boo boo here or there, maybe some little scuff marks, some small dings from the intense pressure of being formed and birthed and dealing with the rigours of existing.
The process of life, its ultimate purpose, is to lovingly uncover and polish our individual gems, using tools from whichever path or practice most speaks to our heart. And to stand in the recognition that we cannot do this without interacting with the overlying dirt and buffing out the scuffs (with discipline, yes, but also with acceptance and compassion and loving-kindness).
So back to the very recent situation to which I alluded at the beginning: my friend and patient brought her little girl to me as a new patient. She is nine years old and a beauty, with all sorts of "quirky" and "funny" in her personality, a true spark of Divinity.
As I laid her back in the dental chair, the first thing I mentioned to her was that I noticed she had a little mole....above her lip! I told her it reminded me of my mum's, which I love. You know, to my surprise (and horror) she reacted so defensively, told me it was "just a freckle" and put her hand over her lip to hide it! Oh boy...why don't I just open my mouth and put the OTHER foot in now?!, right? A lesson in "anti-bonding" with your patient :-)
Her mom then told me that she's been trying to tell her how wonderful that little mole is...she's showed her pictures of beautiful models and actresses...Christie Brinkley, for Gassakes!...who have 'em. But her daughter is unconvinced and still does not like hers.
I then told the little one something I very, very much believe: that God makes each of us in Her own image and that She makes no mistakes. My plan is to compliment that mole every time I see her and my prayer is that she will embrace it as a lovely part of her lovely face.
Just as we all need to embrace every aspect of the less enticing parts of our personalities, smack-dab alongside the Perfect Essence of our souls. As I said to someone the other day: the world does not need any more plastic saints. It needs REAL ones, authentic ones. Ones who oft struggle right through their humanity to re-discover their divinity.
So happy day, fellow wayfarers. I leave you now to go wash my face, with special love and attention paid to the friend on my left cheek. May we all love our perfect blemishes, whatever and wherever they may be.
I am a field of awareness. Any thing beyond that is identification with form...