Imperfectly Perfect

“Life isn’t fair.” Perhaps. Just looking empirically, and personally, there is that. I’m short. I’m certainly not handsome. Okay, I’m pretty smart. I wouldn’t wish my childhood on my fiercest opponent. Yeah, I wish I had a big house. I wish I made a lot more money. All those sure occur as valid, at least from where I stand. So at least from my very parochial perspective: Life isn’t fair.

Yet, “Is life fair?”: A ‘fair’ question? Perhaps, by its very design life isn’t fair. Not everyone is even. I believe this is not “socialized life”. Just saying.

In the Japanese aesthetic wabi-sabi: There is beauty in our imperfection. As Cheryl reminds me, “Life is imperfectly perfect.” Ultimately, wabi-sabi is the lesson: of balance, of acceptance.

When I accept my imperfection and my strengths, I can love and forgive myself. In my 25 years of Aikido training with Sensei Dan, he’d constantly tell me, “Make it work.” Sure, he was talking about Aikido technique and matching up with various attacks from bigger stronger dudes.

Yet, over the years I took what he said in the bigger picture: “Make me work.” Whether or not the circumstances or the world was unfair or fair, I had to make life work for me. Sensei wanted all his students to discover our own balance, our own peace. He wanted us to make our lives work for us, regardless of whether it was fair or not.

Yeah, I’m short and small. Yet, Sensei taught me to “wait out” the attack from the bigger stronger man. He instructed me, “It’s you and the ground against the opponent.” I’m not really alone.

He said, “Everything natural.” I use my opponent’s force against him. I throw with my mind and my center, not just physical strength. The opponent is defeated by his intentions and by gravity. Is it fair others are bigger and stronger than me? No. Does that matter in the bigger picture? Again, no. Not really.

Does being short and not looking like Hugh Jackman assist me in the dating world? From my experience on Match dot com: Absolutely not. Yet, I give my best effort in accepting all my imperfections. There’s always the chance that some woman that I’m interested in, might forego looks for my making a difference through my passion for Aikido or for writing. At least I hope so.

I dismiss that voice in my head, “Jon, she’s out of your league.” when I talk with beautiful, kind Joanne in my aerobics class. The voice could be right. But I really don’t care. I’m good with what I am and what I’m not. That’s my balance in the ‘unfair’. Besides, Joanne will let me know if I’m out of her league. Which hasn’t happened, yet.

‘Life is imperfectly perfect’ when I live in the present, not worrying about what may or may not happen. I acknowledge my past, and how much I’ve evolved since then. Werner Erhard said that I choose, who I’m going to be in any moment. So for now, I’m okay with being me, imperfection and all.

The world of Social Media seems to amplify the issue of fairness in the grand comparison game. Like the pretty 14 year-old girl on “Good Morning America” said, “One “unlike’ breaks you.” WTF?

We, humans, are easily seduced by the comparison game. Who is prettier? Who has more money? Who seems happier?

Really, who cares? We shouldn’t.

Perhaps, by its very design, life isn’t fair. Big deal. As long as I can see the beauty in my imperfection—what I am and what I’m not—then I can begin to love and forgive me. Sure, there can be millions of haters on Social Media. Yet, quieting the hater within me, is where I constantly train.

So, even in the so-called unfair world, we can love and forgive ourselves and discover our balance. That might also be the possibility of happiness. Just saying. Amen. Amen.

Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood


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