For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this idea of a perfect life. Maybe because as a child, teenager, and young adult, I felt forsaken by God, I felt trapped in my actual life. I didn’t know how to get from the life I had to the untarnished and perfect life I wanted.
In a sense, I’ve been too close to life. I tend to experience the pain first and only see the gift or learning later. As an example, I recently finished a novel where one of the heroines is crushed in an accident and dies at a young age.
I feel the thud of pain, the explosion in my gut and heart as I watch her die. It is only later that I can see the pattern. I can see that this character accomplished something vital for herself, that she achieved her purpose, that her short life was meaningful.
For me, violence, pain, disease, and even death were mistakes. I believed that life should be kinder to me and to all beings. The reality I grew up in wasn’t beautiful. It was filled with emotional strife, anger, and criticism.
I didn’t believe in a higher power that cared. but I did believe that I should be happier, more functional, less depressed. And I didn’t know how to get myself into a different and more beautiful and loving reality.
My actual life versus my perfect life
There was a separation for me between my actual life and the life I wanted — the ideal or perfect life. The perfect life was a life where pain and heartbreak did not exist. In that life, I was not damaged. I was not afraid. I was not confused. Nor was I depressed and I did not feel stuck. Heroines did not have short harrowing and conflicted lives and die early deaths. They lived happily ever after.
Obviously, I am fighting with reality.
In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, people were chained in caves, and they could only see shadows projected on a blank wall. They didn’t see the reality or truth that created those shadows, but limited projections. There was a split between reality and perception.
What they saw was real, was not the full reality. They were caught in a restricted perception, which they believed was true. They were in a reality but it was bound and limited. Breaking those chains and walking towards the bigger and truer reality was scary.
If I want to stop fighting reality, I have to accept the seeming chaos of life. I have to accept the difficulties around me and within me. I have to contact faith and trust within myself.
The journey to a different life
Stepping into the journey of moving from the life I am in, to a more fulfilling life is also the process of healing. After recognizing that something was wrong (with me), I began to sift and sort. I began to see the fears that kept me trapped. I began to address the absolute lack of faith I had in the goodness of the universe.
If I could not trust the universe, it meant I had to do everything myself. It meant I had to be a human doing, rather than a human being. It meant I attempted to control people and outcomes rather than allow. Not trusting left me hypervigilant. Those and other ways of being trapped me in a limited reality. They kept me transfixed on the shadows flickering on the cave wall.
To healing this split between the idea of the perfect life and the actual or flawed life, I had to learn to love myself. Instead of two different and conflicted realities — the ideal and the real, I do my best to see life as a journey. I traverse from where I started to what I envision.
Exploration and repair
My life became about a process of unearthing beliefs as well as trying on and practicing new ones. It became about the rebuilding and reconstruction of my psyche. As I addressed my wounds and repaired what did not fully function, the life I had before slowly transformed into the life I have now. The process of repairing the weaknesses I did not want to be hampered by, became my life.
For many years now, I have opened up and explored, dialogued with, and sent love to the hurt, suffering, and forgotten parts of myself. I mended these parts so that they could heal, integrate, and become a valuable aspect of me. This is not what I expected or what I imagined my life would be. This process of exploration and repair is my actual life, and at the same time, it is a bridge between where I am and where I intend to be.
As such, my life has been the work of a weaver. I’ve examined the damaged and incomplete cloth of myself, and I’ve woven new material, new patterns, and new designs into it. I am a weaver of new life.
“Weave, weave, weave,” I say. “Breath love and life into this cloth so I may experience joy and love.” I see weaving all around me by other skilled weavers. As new tears, rips, and destruction occur, so too does the weaving.
In my perfect life, this process of healing would not have occurred. I would have had no wounds. If I wasn’t wounded, would I have become someone who helped others? Would I have become a therapist? This life of mine is about that path, the path of healing myself and then assisting those I could reach in the world.
We have the power to transform our reality
Because I now see the trajectory of my life, I can apply this knowledge to the world around me. While a part of me still longs for a world without pain and damage, without loss and grief, I know that we have the power to re-weave and transform our reality.
In that way, my actual life is perfect. In my actual life, I’ve grown and learned through all of my mistakes. The deficits I arrived with or carried as a result of a lack of nurturing have been mostly healed or are healing, layer by layer.
I had thought that in a perfect life, disaster didn’t happen because a concern for life and the safety for all was put above any other need. But in my real (and yes, my wonderful) life, I get to work out problems with people as they arise — or end the relationship if needed. I get to strive to be my best no matter what occurs. I have the opportunity to seek meaning in the world around me. I weave, change, and transform.
In contrast, in my perfect life, there are no mishaps to be addressed. There is no opportunity to grow or become more. There is no need to strive, nor learn how to create ourselves. It is a static situation — and it turns out, not real life.
Living in the magic of growth
I am aware of magic and synchronicities. The static does not contain magic. Magic is found in the open place of the process where the unexpected can fall into place. It occurs where what was dark and cramped, is illuminated and sees what is beautiful in itself. It occurs in acts of kindness, love, and appreciation.
Isn’t this journey itself magic? If we can weave a new and more beautiful reality, isn’t that also magic?
Get out of the cave and stop looking at the shadows. Get on the path from what was to what could be. This is our perfect life.
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First published October 14th, 2019 in Live Your Life on Purpose. https://medium.com/live-your-life-on-purpose/my-perfect-life-7acdbbff5778