From my previous series on The Laws of Attraction, I thought I’d explain a basic spiritual law: the present is always perfect. I am sure you’ve probably heard of it before, but most people don’t really understand it. How can the present be perfect when you are sick or have a broken leg? How can the present be perfect when you have massive credit card debt? Can the present be perfect when your boyfriend just dumped you? It certainly doesn’t look or feel perfect in any of these situations.
So if the law doesn’t change, then how is this very imperfect-looking stuff perfect?
The late Thomas Leonard once said that in order for a relationship to really work in the long term, you have to love your partner’s flaws and imperfections. Or at least, find them somewhat charming or amusing. Then it becomes true that you have a “perfect” husband or wife. They are perfect for you, flaws and all. The same works in life.
You need to appreciate the perfection in the imperfections.
When I was taking pottery classes in New York, I held up my rather wobbly, lopsided bowl and muttered something about it being highly flawed. My teacher, Michael, said, “If you want a perfect bowl, go to Pottery Barn and get one. The beauty lies in the flaws.” So, in that sense, my bowl was indeed perfect. Perhaps more perfect than the one at Pottery Barn, thanks to its flaws. Okay, now let’s take the more difficult leap of faith. How is a broken leg perfect? Or credit card debt?
Years ago, my sister was becoming an avid runner. But she went skiing for the first time and blew out her knee. After surgery, the doctors said she would never run again. She was in rehabilitation for months, started doing yoga and can now run again, though she has no cartilage left in that knee. If she runs, she is basically wearing down the bone. Not a good long-term strategy. While at first she was saying, “Why me?” and bemoaning her damaged knee, she later realized that she was going down a very athletic path in life and that her real destiny is more intellectual than physical.
She later took up fiction writing and absolutely loves it! The universe stopped her in her tracks. So you could say the injured knee was perfect (not that I’d wish it on anyone) and helped her reorient her life around her true gifts and talents. She continued to do yoga and gentler activities like horse-back riding, which she enjoys even more than running.
What about credit card debt?
When I was up to my ears in debt, I realized that I needed to learn how to manage my money better or, when the real riches rolled in, I would squander them. Getting more money is not the solution to most financial problems, even though most people think it is. I learned that my spending was driven by an unmet emotional need to be cherished. Until I learned how to fulfill my deeper needs, I would continue to overspend. Once I got my need to be cherished met, then the overspending stopped naturally.
The debt was perfect because it forced me to face the facts about my spending habits and also my emotional needs. [Discover your own personal and emotional needs by taking the free Emotional Index Quiz]. Now mind you, I still go shopping, but I don’t go into debt to do so—a world of difference.
What looks imperfect in your life?
If you imagine yourself describing this event or situation in ten years, how would you describe it as perfect? For example, after I broke up with the man I thought I was going to marry, I was heartbroken. I was depressed for a good year. Now, I feel nothing but gratitude. If it hadn’t been for him, I never would have bought a house in the mountains that turned out to be one of the best financial investments I have made.
If you can realize that the present is perfect right now, you’ll be much calmer when dealing with the seemingly “bad” stuff of life.
And, sometimes the thing to do is change what you don’t like by perfecting the present. You can …
Be the Change You Want to See In the World
Picking up on the current theme of panic and Ebola and on topic with our recent life coaching call-in-hour about feeling guilty for creating your ideal life when there is so much unhappiness in the world—I was delighted to read Seth Godin’s blog We Have Ebola discussing the hysteria and panic that seems to be fueled by the media machine, creating an epidemic panic among us.
As Ghandi said, we must, “be the change we want to see in the world.” If you are worried about Ebola, donate some money to the cause. Not too long ago the hysteria was focused on the Avian bird flu and before that, AIDS. There will always be something to scare us—if we allow it to.
Being the change you want to see can be as simple as you make it. My hero of the day is the philanthropic Taiwanese vegetable seller, Chen Shu-chu, who is doing exactly that: walking the walk and making huge changes by doing what she can, however small. Not only is she being the change, but also by her actions, she is inspiring others to donate to charity as well. Listen to her story here and get inspired!
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