Wonder collapsed in perfection’s ideal,
Reaching for what was lost,
Noticing the flawed,
Seeing only what was missed,
Comparing it to desire,
Perfect became inconsolable,
With the heart’s yearning.
Perfect was waiting to be revealed,
Discovered in what was found,
Restoring what was intended,
A heart able to see,
Understanding what it owned,
Perfect came as a gift,
Joined again with creation’s yearning.
Disappointment speaks very loudly in our daily world. The key message in advertising is to raise dissatisfaction levels to such a point that we are impelled to purchase a particular product to quell that urge. Once that is achieved we lurch to the next message that comes on our computer screen/TV/Radio program.
Living in a disappointed world can be a heartbreaking experience. Satisfaction is constantly denied because of the barrage of messages that deny contentment. Beyond the advertising world is our work worlds in which daily we can receive same message. Constant change in the workplace means what is right today probably won’t be good enough tomorrow. We live in a world that is very good at expressing its disappointment. The workplace can communicate a level of disappointment in the shortcomings that come from such constant change.
In the workplace many people are working to gain the approval of others around them. It may be a manager, our peers or even our family or friends. Too often when that approval is not available a sense of disappointment sets in. Burnout comes from the overwhelming feeling of not achieving what you are working very hard to do. Each day becomes another addition to increasing brokenness that if left unchecked can lead to a meltdown.
The problem that comes with feeling less than perfect is that we are reaching for an unattainable goal. Get something right today and tomorrow the world will have shifted and a realigning is required. To add to the sense of dissatisfaction is what is missed is noticed quicker than what was done well. Too often what is missed is what is spoken most about.
I would like to consider a different way of viewing perfect. A way that allows for the restoration of wonder and hope. My suggestion is to view perfection not as an outcome but as a process. Reality will require living with some level of acceptance of disappointment. It’s what we do with that disappointment that determines our happiness levels. In each of us is a tragic gap between what is hoped for and what we experience. Joining our hearts yearning to our understanding of perfection as a process can help bridge that gap.
There is a part of each of us that wants to appreciate what is good, true and beautiful. When we refer to a sunrise as perfect it is because that image has connected to something in our heart. The sunrise may have been different but still perfect. I could wish that there may have been a bit more colour, or that there was a little less fog but this doesn’t make what I see now any less perfect.
Perhaps the solution is to shift what is yearned for. Discontentment is easily produced in most humans. Discovering our hearts yearning can lead us closer to understanding and accepting the perfection that each of us hold in our hands. Aristotle said that, “Happiness depends on ourselves.” He is partially true, we can be content when we have learned to hold disappointment but still see what is beautiful.
In relationships this occurs when we choose to overlook an inconsistency and appreciate what is good in that person. Disappointment occurs when only the fault is talked about. When that hope is found what we all yearn for is found. Perfection is waiting to be discovered each day, but to realise it the gift of appreciation of what we have now must be accepted first.