As a person
who’s undergone many life challenges and approaching my half century, I feel I have the necessary experience to put
forward my perspective on the perfectly imperfect life.
My life has been
far from perfect but, in my youth, I sought to right the wrongs that I saw all
around me. I was both naieve and
ambitious but highly motivated about the kind of life I wanted. Since I was largely
influenced by my peers, books I’d read and TV shows I thought that life had had
to have a happy ending.....all the best stories do, don’t they?
I wanted a nice
home with a white picket fence and roses around the door. I mentally decorated
each and every room. I wanted a beautiful garden and a sun room for lazy Sunday
morning reading. More than anything, I wanted a wonderful man to love me and a
sprinkling of adorable children. I believed that my heart and intentions were
pure so I could attract like to like?
Wrong. That was
the start of the dismantling of my dream. I got the home but it took a ton of
money to get it into a decent state. Once it was, it took a ton of effort
(mostly mine) to maintain it. The man I loved I found didn’t love me as much...simply
because we both had different ideas about what love was. When we had children
they were all perfect but the world labelled one of them as learning disabled.
It certainly was an uphill struggle to maintain this state of perfection!
One day I
decided to stop believing that life could be perfect. In fact, I let the facade
crumble so that I could expose the bitter truth about perfection. I took off
the rose coloured spectacles and took a close hard look at what I had created.
|Perfect or not?|
Not many people
are like me. They’d rather live the lie and I understand that, I did too for
many years....the lie of perfection. The goal of perfection is wanting a neat
and tidy package. Sadly, it doesn’t exist but it doesn't prevent anyone from wanting to reach for it.
Take the case of
a mother who gave birth to a child that was later diagnosed as autistic. She
found raising him difficult due to his unpredictable condition. She wanted a
child who would grow up “normally”, go to university, get a job, get married
and produce some grandchildren.
As she had
decided that her son would do none of these things and was placing a great strain on her marriage
which led to an eating disorder, she decided to give him up, at the age of
seven, and place him in a home. I sympathise with her moral dilemma and perhaps
this child should not be in the care of a person who is bereft of unconditional love. He is considered
imperfect, by her standards, which many would judge as poor. Nevertheless she has a right to them.
Then take the
case of Anthony Robles, a 24 year old mixed race American , born to a 16 year
old white mother and an African father whom he has never known. The other fact
about Anthony, that he doesn’t care for the world to take notice of (though it
does) is that he was born with one leg. He was bullied through some of his
school life but his mother was not over-protective as she believed it was
important for him to take some knocks. And taking some knocks and giving them back
is what he’s done.
Through sheer determination and the toughest physical
training he became the 2010-11 NCAA individual wrestling champion competing
against able-bodied opponents.
He refuses to wear a prosthetic limb ( he has no stump to
attach it to) and refuses to be labelled as “disabled”.
Do you think his mother
believed that her son could not grow up “normally”? No, she’s a fighter, and she never gave up on him and his success today is hers too. On TV
recently she said,”it’s very humbling to be Anthony’s mother.”I believe her. I
have a perfectly imperfect son too and he’s my pride and joy as are my other
“normal children”. If I had to choose between a marriage or a child – there’s
no contest. Every marriage is not made in heaven but a child, undoubtedly, is.
Heroism is part
of divine perfection and it can be found on this imperfect earth. I have chosen to see it and, even in moments of weakness, I know it lives in me and I just have to find a little courage to bring it forth. I know that there's perfection in every imperfection.
I have no
regrets about my perfect/imperfect life that doesn’t fit into any mould. I’m kinder and more compassionate with
myself and others. I don’t have to wish for the perfect life because I
believe I have achieved it (though no one else will believe me!)