Looking at a Pile of Dirt: The Quest for Perfection

There is a passage in the Bible from the book of Matthew somewhere in the midst of The Sermon on the Mount.  It reads, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Hmm…that sounds like a pretty tall order.  Moreover, does anyone actually want to be perfect?  Sounds kind of OCD, right?  In order for such a request as perfection to make any sense to us, we first have to define perfection.

I’m not a dictionary, so I’m not going to define it, but I will share some thoughts on it!  The way I see it – perfection, to each individual, is nothing more than a complete realization of their ideal experience of life.  What is your ideal experience?

If you know your ideal, then you can start moving in the direction of realizing it in your life.  If you don’t know your ideal, then you will be like one of this little kids in the pool who flaps vigorously trying to stay afloat, really wishing he had some floaties.   Knowing our ideal provides support for us in times when we otherwise think we’re drowning.  If we have our ideal firmly established, then we can look at any situation in our lives and derive meaning from it as it relates to us realizing our ideal life.

Thinking about ideals…that’s still a lot to handle.  Most of us would probably agree on a general ideal for all people like Peace or an experience of Unconditional Love and Joy, but that is still pretty abstract and difficult to comprehend or know how to move towards.

In order for us to bring such an ideal to our reality, we have to piece apart our lives so that we can have a clearer understanding of who we really are and where our areas of primary growth may be so that we experience our ideal to a greater extent.

Playing with the Dirt

This morning I went for a walk to throw away some trash.  On the way back, I walked very slowly and paid attention to the minute details of life.  I stopped several times to admire rocks, leaves, and a pile of dirt.  The pile of dirt was miniscule to me but probably looked like a mountain to an ant.  I crouched down to magnify my perception of the dirt.  The mountain seemed sturdy and whole.  An impenetrable gathering of dirt stared at me in the eye, and I was confident that in its ability to withstand the forces of nature on the road. It looked strong. Nonetheless, I moved my finger toward it and soon enough I touched the mountain.  With a little push the mountain suddenly became two mountains, and then it broke down even further into five islands, and then even more into a collection of tiny dirt villas.  The villas collapsed into singular dirt people, and the dirt people even exposed themselves as dirt molecules.

Just as the dirt mountain revealed itself to be nothing more than a collection of individual dirt molecules joining together to present themselves as something strong and resilient, so too do we often present ourselves as mountains.    We are mountains built up by our family and friends.  Our teachers and the books we read fortify our mountain.  Our environment strengthens us, and our daily habits provide us with a greater sense of wholeness.  The words we use carry with them so many of our mountain-esque qualities, and the very air we breathe vitalizes us with the determination to defy the gravity that tries to hold us down.  In so many ways, we are mountains. Just like any other mountain, we can be further understood by looking at our individual parts.

If we look at ourselves as a summation of the people we know, the environment we live in, the books we read, our habits, our language – we will soon come to know ourselves better.  We will cultivate self-knowledge, and with self-knowledge comes an awareness of what we like most about our lives and what we dislike and might want to improve.  In a sense, I think we can say that we have realized our ideal in life when there is nothing we want to improve about it and we accept everything just as it is.  (Note: You can accept everything Here & Now as ideal and completely good if you really want to! It’s just a choice.)

Of course, realizing our ideal or achieving a state of perfection is a lifelong journey, and a beautiful one at that.  We can always be growing in Peace, Love, Joy, and Unity with the world.  And that, to me, is one of the many very beautiful things about this miraculous experiment we are all participating in – each and every day we can grow in harmony and connection with all that is good.

When we choose to grow and to improve upon our current situation in life, we are choosing to enjoy life to the fullest and utilize the amazing gifts bestowed upon us freely at birth.  When we accept responsibility for who we are and where we are in our lives right now, we will then realize the power we have to improve our situation in life and move in the direction of our ideal.

You are a Mountain

See yourself as a mountain.  You are a strong mountain made up of many parts.  Take a look at all the parts that compose you, Master Mountain.  Think about the compartments of your mountain that are the strongest – where you find the most Joy.  Then, also think about the nooks and crannies of our mountain that often go overlooked, yet when they are exposed they might be full of grief or a sense of inferiority.  Like a professional golfer striving to move from good to great, work on each little aspect of your mountain, one part at a time.

Fortifying your mountain and maximizing your Master Mountain capacity for perfection is a lifelong journey, and it’s easily one of the rewarding journeys you will ever go on.  Even if you are already a very strong mountain, don’t you want to be a bit stronger?  Every day, you can grow stronger and stronger.  A bit wiser and wiser with each passing moment – imagine the possibilities!

Feel free to discard shifty rocks from your mountain’s foundation.  Some relationships can cripple your mountain, as can bad habits and even unhealthy foods.  Feed your mountain the good stuff, no matter if we are talking about physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual food.   Build your mountain with rocks that have been tested time and time again and proven effective to solidifying a magnanimous mountain.

If you don’t know what composes the foundation for a strong, resilient, mountain, perhaps look at some biographies of people who you consider truly masterful mountains.  Gandhi is one of my favorites.  He did a lot of meditation, walking, and didn’t eat much, so I do what I can to incorporate those mountain-building behaviors into my life.  Jesus is also a ridiculously strong mountain.  He stored up treasures in Heaven and not on earth, so in the same way I go about nurturing my spiritual nature rather than focusing on the material world.  Another one of my favorite mountains is Steve Pavlina, a man who managed to graduate college in 3 semesters, proving how powerful positive habits can be in increasing our productivity, effectiveness, and enjoyment of life.

There are all kinds of wonderful Master Mountains out there to learn from – and you are one of them!  We are all our own our own mysterious mountain full of beauty and wisdom, and the best part about our individual mountains is that the very core of us all is the same.  The spiritual core is the most treasured aspect of each of us as Master Mountains.  Cherish it.

If you are not currently connected with the Spirit of your mountain, spending some time to find it and be with it might be one of the greatest decisions you ever make.  Nothing is more important than our core.

 

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