Silliness is a wonderful form of playfulness. How precious it is to cultivate light-heartedness and relax the ego’s insistence on being important.
I have some very good friends who, like me, are monkeys. Monkeys are smart and playful – and even downright silly. What does the adult part of you think about playfulness and silliness? Have you ever felt like a monkey?
Have you noticed any fear associated with silliness and playfulness? Yet, couldn’t we all use a ready wit, an easy sense of humor, along with precious little need to take ourselves seriously?
Are you playful and silly? What are the conditions which have best allowed these qualities to shine through? How do family and cultural patterns about playfulness show up in your behaviors and belief systems? Who are the people with whom you feel most comfortable and safe to be fully yourself – even when you’re being goofy and silly?
Inevitably, our week’s conversation about perfection turns to imperfection. Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “To sit in judgment of those things which you perceive to be wrong or imperfect is to be one more person who is part of judgment, evil or imperfection.”
If one’s core belief is that *all* is perfect – on at least what might be called a “cosmic” level – then Dyer’s comment would be true. He is equating negative judgment itself with imperfection. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black if one adjudges something to be imperfect, but is then made imperfect by the judgment.
Have you ever judged something imperfect and, therefore, wrong or flawed or even evil? How do we humans maintain the paradox that everything is “perfect,” yet clearly cruelty and suffering exist in the world? How can those things be “perfect”?
This week’s topic – perfection – has caused much suffering among so many people because it has been interpreted to be the only acceptable way to be – even though being perfect is a completely unrealistic goal.
Most likely, what we are really talking about when we speak about perfection is a high degree of excellence or mastery in a particular activity where “perfect scores” are attainable. Neither of those terms is absolute, yet “perfection” connotes the ultimate ideal – the best there is or ever could be.
In the rational light of day, perhaps nothing is perfect . . . with the exception of love if it is unadulterated and unconditional and pure.
How have you been affected by visions of perfection? Have you felt pressured by family, friends, peers and / or our culture to be without flaw? Even though you might have questioned the true ability of anyone to be perfect, how have the messages about perfection affected your self-image your self-assessment, and your assessment of others? Is there a rational alternative to our cultural addiction to perfection?
You may know one of my favorite writers, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. He said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
His writing is beautifully lyrical, yet it is not fussy or overdone. The notion of reducing something to its essence is powerful. We can debate about whether or not perfection actually exists, but the * feeling * of perfection definitely exists . . . and it’s well worth paying attention to.
Consider something in which you’re engaged. How would it be well-served by taking away something? For example, taking away demands on a relationship, decoration in a room, embellishment in a story, or requirements for you to live up to everyone else’s pictures of how your life * should * be.
We might find, as Saint-Exupery implies, that less is more . . . and that beauty and perfection are a function of brilliant and intentional refinement. How might the beauty of the situations mentioned above be revealed by removing anything that does not serve the highest and best purpose of the situation itself?