Potential & Possibility

Imperfection’s Gateway

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.

August Wilson, American playwright


               The course of mental illness is cyclical. Symptoms recur and subside depending upon the level of self-care and external stressors. I had a recurrence filled with anxiety and hardship, yet rich with insight. Over the years, I’ve mastered how to harness the recovery process during these difficult times. Each situation presents an evolutionary point in my journey. Following are lessons from this experience.
               My first perception is based from a quotation by Japanese writer, Haruki Murikami: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” I believe we stand to benefit from honestly acknowledging our imperfections – by diving into our own pain, we enter the gateway to our own healing. Our trial becomes our remedy. The Japanese aesthetic and worldview of wabi-sabi accepts imperfection as beauty…impermanent, incomplete, and a blessing unto itself.
               My second understanding is that we must make room for our happiness. There’s no pride in poverty and that includes poverty of the heart. I believe that fruitfulness comes from making patience our best friend – we grow when we hold our feelings and our fears with compassion. Time is our ally. By creating a safe and sacred space for joy, we cultivate opportunities for peace and contentment in our life experience. Deliberation is key.
               Finally, as a transformational undertaking, my personal awareness provides me with this mantra:

I choose to accept that my experience (with mental illness) is painful.
I choose not to suffer from it.
I choose to accept the consequences of my actions (and inaction).

               Our imperfections are marks of our wholeness, uniqueness, and humanity (from a “Calm” meditation). Here is a quote by poet and author, Ariana Reines:

“Come to me whole: with your flaws, your scars and everything you consider imperfect. Then let me show you what I see. I see galaxies in your eyes and fire in your hair. I see journeys in your palms and adventure waiting in your smile. I see what you cannot: you are absolutely, maddeningly, irrevocably perfect.”

               When we embrace acceptance, our pathway to wellness emerges.

By Kim Bragado for The Authentic Thinker