Whenever my time comes, a fitting epitaph may well be, “Just when he was beginning to get the gist of it.” I do feel I’m finally getting a glimpse, be it ever so slight, of what it might possibly mean to take on this human incarnation. For instance, I like to think that I’m becoming a bit kinder, overall, as well as more empathic towards myself and others while setting appropriate boundaries when deemed necessary. I also like to believe that I’ve grown to be somewhat less impatient, and I’m certainly less sarcastic—a good thing for all concerned, believe me. I’m slowly, albeit begrudgingly, conceding to the fact that I will never be perfect, which is undoubtedly in my best interest. My misguided desire for perfection thus far has generously provided me with the suffering required to see the futility of my efforts.
Therefore, aware that old habits die hard, I’ve been trying out a new mantra as of late: “You don’t need to be perfect,” as a means of keeping me on course when I find myself caught up in idealistic self-talk. Notice the second person perspective in which the older and wiser part of me offers practical advice to the younger, naive part. I wish I could honestly say this exchange takes place numerous times daily, but that simply isn’t the case. In actuality, the two parts connect a few times each day, which may not be ideal, but it is movement in the right direction.