To those of us with perfectionist tendencies, remember, there is no perfect. Perfect is an illusion and a fiction and an impossibility. Perfect suggests that time is static, that there’s some kind of end state, that you can distill process into a snapshot and preserve it for posterity.
I’m reminded of a time when I went walking in an old growth Redwood forest in Northern California. The canopy of gigantic trees muffled sound, creating a strange but friendly feeling of enclosed quiet. Giant ferns were scattered among the even more giant tree trunks, giving the impression that dinosaurs and wooly mammoths might come crashing through the brush at any moment. Winding through the mulchy earth were intricate veins of running water. In the muffled silence, I crouched beside a small babbling brook and listened to the gentle tones the water made as it streamed over well-worn river rocks. It reminded me of the sound of marimbas, and I imagined composing a song that mimicked the music made by this little stream in the forest.
Streams of water dry up or are diverted, they ebb and flow and change course over time. And yet there’s something about their constant movement that reminded me of the greater process at work in our lives. Seeking perfection is like trying to stop the flow of a babbling brook. It narrows our focus, and it attempts to freeze in time something that necessarily flows.
Let the process flow.