Embracing Life’s Perfect Imperfection

What you most reject is what holds the greatest potential for growth. Whether it’s a feeling you don’t want to feel, a person with whom you have a challenging relationship—it’s typically what you want to avoid that reveals your deep truths.

Which is one of the reasons why I try to embrace life’s perfect imperfections and practice doing my inner work. When I wake up feeling down for no good reason at all, and nothing that I do gets me out of that funky state? Not the yoga, not the meditation, not the espresso, not going for a walk, not listening to music, not a conversation with a good friend. Rather than trying to not feel that feeling, or to “get over it”, I try to embrace it. Work with it. Listen to what it has to teach me, and try to find my way of flowing in the stream of life. 

[00:00:00] Life is never not the opposing streams that push you in different directions. The ones that are sometimes gentle and sometimes violently dangerous. It’s just how you flow in the stream. That’s all you can really influence is how you flow the stream. Are you surfing it. Areyou able to go.with that flow and to direct it and to have some influence, but also realize that you don’t have all the influence that some of these streams just happen and they didn’t happen because you make them happen.
[00:00:26] And they didn’t happen because you’re a bad person. And when they’re nice, it’s not because you’re a good person. They just happen. This is life and you’re in it. And you can do is the way you will appreciate, enjoy and experience those streams. And sometimes the way you survive them and sometimes the way you and.
[00:00:41] But the scream of life will always keep going on and it will not just go in one direction and it will not just always be pleasant at the pace that you have chosen. No asking it is given no positive thinking. No presence. Mindfulness would ever create life. That is. It’s just not possible. Bigs will [00:01:00] happen.
[00:01:00] And on a micro level, we can all practice this in our day to day internal experience. And it’s always in the areas that we are most rejecting, that we can mostly practice and grow. Right. I wrote this yesterday. It’s the relationships in our lives that are the most challenging are the truest mirrors showing us who we are and who we are not yet ready to accept.
[00:01:25] Right? If you have a mother or father or brother, and you just always fight with them and they are really triggering you and you can handle them, piss something about who they are. Reflecting back something about who you are that you can’t handle, because you’re not ready to handle it. You don’t want to see it.
[00:01:40] That’s why you will react runaway or attack, but that’s very unpleasant. That’s a very unpleasant thing to contemplate. The same thing is true for our own emotions. Right? So when I wake up in the morning, like I did this morning and I feel a slight melancholy and depression, of course. First thoughts was you still run over this because it’s been awhile since I’ve had that.
[00:01:59] And [00:02:00] because I woke up and had no good reason to feel this way, everything in my life is tip top five stars. Top-notch so there was an instant guilt, a voice in my head saying this is steel and that boys wanted to. The stream and hyperventilate in a way that would make me drown and suffer from adverse experience through these emotions.
[00:02:20] Yeah. And also there’s like the implicit statement that just because you experienced it at that time and that moment, it’s still who you are. Right. It’s your identity rather than an experience of time, which makes it so much worse. I mean, which is something we tend to do in so many things in our lives, right.
[00:02:36] We take a friendship and we turn it into a who we are. We take the things we’re working on and it becomes ID. What does this mean about who I am? And if it’s about identity, it’s a much more monumental judgment. And if it’s just about an action, right. And then I thought, well, this is about like, let’s see how I’m going to walk on this tight rope today.
[00:02:59] I, oh, it [00:03:00] seems like today’s another day where I find myself on this type of tight rope. Let’s see how this is going to go. Will I struggle. Will it be a fade or not go on it? Will it go on it and fall? Will I enjoy? Who knows just this? Is it not a big, like, why is it it? But it is what it is. Let’s see what we do with it.
[00:03:17] And you know, so the first hour I got went out and grabbed a coffee and the last couple of days, every morning I grabbed coffee at Josie and Austin. And it’s like before Dawn 7:00 AM. I sit down and I listened to either this podcast or some music. And I write to my friends and I write down my thoughts and I feel amazing.
[00:03:36] And it was like a joke and I could not listen to anything. And I was writing thoughts, writing wasn’t good. And I was like, wow, coffee. Isn’t good. And then again, my mind went to why isn’t this the way I want it to be. It’s been like, Three days. Why isn’t it that the moment I left home and I sat down and hit my espresso, that I started feeling better.
[00:03:55] It should’ve worked. Why isn’t it working? And then again, it was a, well, this isn’t [00:04:00] working, let’s go back to the apartment and see what we can do there. And I knew I wanted, I thought that’s actually do some yoga. Yoga might feel really good and be bringing some ease or my attention. And then I came back and saw half an hour.
[00:04:11] I could not get on the yoga mat. I was just like on Twitter, getting more and more tense. Just don’t want to do the thing that I need to do. And then. I have a lunch meeting with some friends. Let’s cancel that. I wanted to go to the gym before the lunch meeting, because we’ve also canceled the other thing, but then I’m going to have a recording with Romina.
[00:04:27] Maybe today I should just cancel everything. Right. Those are kind of the natural thoughts. And then eventually I thought, well, I can’t think my way to something interesting. I can’t coffee my way to something interesting. Let’s see if I won’t joke about myself, maybe I’ll do yoga. It’s going to be a really suck x-ray let’s see.
[00:04:43] Oh, yoga will feel like, but with yoga, I didn’t do it with the approach of yoga will solve. To me, let’s see how bad your ego can feel in this state. Let’s see what it’s going to do, whatever it’s going to do. Then after you guys talk a little bit better and I took a shower and I went and met up with my friends for lunch, and then I did a bit of work.
[00:04:59] And then, you know, [00:05:00] I started feeling better and better and came back and I went to the gym and still, I could sense a certain tiredness today. I haven’t turned this day around to like the best day ever. I’m the happiest ever, but that’s fine. It’s been a very interesting day to play with the idea that.
[00:05:17] All my worst feelings, all my worst states or my worst habits, a part of what makes my life rich and interesting at the end of my yoga practice, I started to pray again, a very new experience for me and there, I really had kind of a deep rooted reverence and gratitude to everything and everyone that I don’t like in my life, right.
[00:05:38] Just like everything. Rejected. My life is part of what makes my life rich and rich share and evolve. The things that I reject and that I don’t like disappeared. I will be in trouble. My life would be so much poor. It wouldn’t be better, which is another thing that pops up for me. One, sometimes we have this idea that if we only eliminated enough of the [00:06:00] things we didn’t like with this.
[00:06:01] We are sculpture. We’re like we’re chipping away anything. That’s not part of the masterpiece. Right? That’s some kind of a self-help idea. You’re this block of stone of granite and the goal is to chip away anything. That’s not the true you until boom, the masterpieces of deal. And this is such a cool idea.
[00:06:18] Like there’s a beauty, that idea, but this also kind of dumb in the way that there is. Perfection that we can attain and get to that. That will be the destination. Steli the masterpiece. Finally, I chipped away everything that was not proud of the masterpiece, every ugly, little bit of granite that didn’t make the face of the statute.
[00:06:38] Perfect. It didn’t make the muscles perfect that didn’t make the posing. Perfect. And now look at me. Perfected myself and I’m this masterpiece to be admired. And finally I can exhale and feel happy and amazing and all that’s bullshit because the part of the ma it’s also static. Yes. Yes, because it has this idea that there is a [00:07:00] destination, there’s a final piece.
[00:07:01] The art of being a human being is not in that. You’ve chipped away everything about you. That wasn’t good and you’ve arrived. Perfect version of you, the beauty and art of being human is that every single moment you have the chance to reborn renew, you have the chance to relive and repeat. Like it is all a river that’s constantly ever flowing.
[00:07:25] And just like, you can stop at the. The point of a river twice, or whatever the saying is you cannot find yourself exactly the same twice in any given moment in time. If it’s just from one second to the next something has changed cells in your body, tension in your body, breathing. Uh, movement. You’re never exactly the same.
[00:07:45] That is the art is like flowing with that, changing with that, evolving with that, enjoying all of that. The art of life is much more like a dance that why you dance. The music changes a while the music changes your dance changes and it’s kind [00:08:00] of half discovery, half influence of. Performance art. And it’s not at painting like an empty canvas.
[00:08:07] You sit down, you pick the colors, you fill out the whole thing and then boom, you put in your signature on it and you hang it on a wall. And Tara, we’re done the masterpiece of my life. I figured it out. It’s this. Let’s not invite everybody to look at it, to put a value on it, to appraise it. That’s not what it is, but because that idea’s so poetic.
[00:08:27] Peeling and chanting, many of us chase that idea. Now there’s lots of people whose suffering is embedded in how far away they are from that, like from the final masterpiece chip away, chip away. And then they look at the block and they’re like, Jesus fucking Christ. I’ve been chipping away at this for 40 years.
[00:08:47] And it’s still a block that I don’t see anything. Chantel is everybody knows. This is ugly. I know it’s on the hour, never finished it. And that’s where their suffering is rooted. They feel they’re so far away [00:09:00] from their true, their true self, whatever the fuck that means from their true potential. My God, I’m so far away from my true potential, whatever that means.
[00:09:07] I don’t know what that means. My imaginary perfect stylized image of my life. Feelings. My thoughts I’m very far away from anything I could imagine doing. I couldn’t imagine flying like a bird without an airplane or an engine. That doesn’t mean that far away from my flying potential. Just because humans can imagine certain things doesn’t mean they actually can do them and should do all of them.
[00:09:30] But anyways, that’s a different topic. Some people think that’s more about. What they think is possible. Yeah. There’s people that suffer because they feel themselves so far away from the perfect masterpiece of life. And then there are other people that I think are suffering tremendously because they’re so fucking close to the fucking masterpiece.
[00:09:50] We all know these people. There are people that seem sort of perfect kind of perfectly cohesive, like everything that life kind of. Clicks connect. You look at them and you go does Cress this person the way [00:10:00] they dress, the way they move the job, they have the way they talk, their spouse, their husband, the house, they live in the vacations that take the way they wake up in the morning.
[00:10:08] The way they go to bed, everything connects. It’s such a cohesive thing. Seems like they figured it out. Wow. People are more stocks than the people that are looking at that blogs go, what the fuck is this state more? Fuck this, the old, what is it? A Hemingway quote where it’s like, there’s just two tragedies in life.
[00:10:24] One is not getting what you want. And the other one is getting what you want. Right? These people are in the situation where they’re very close to think they figured it out. And then what you do when you’ve perfected your art, your masterpiece. Perfect. And everybody else’s eyes in your own, but everything still sucks so much.
[00:10:40] What do you do then? Where do you go from there? You cannot move anywhere. There’s no space. You’ve locked yourself in a small cage and everybody’s like, wow, are you free? You’re the freest bird in the universe. And you’re just like, I don’t know. I can just probably have to smile until I die and pretend this is awesome.
[00:10:58] Cause I don’t know what to do next. [00:11:00] It has no idea what to do next from here. Listen, we have now lived enough years with. We’ve met a tremendous variety of people, a tremendous breadth and depth of humanity in terms of all sizes and all forms. Some of the ones that are in the most emotional turmoil, some of the deeply unhappiest people.
[00:11:20] I know some of the most depressed people. I know some of the most tremendous are the ones that seem most perfect to the outside world. They seem so perfect to the outside world in themselves. That you’re like what? It must be something wrong here, but I can’t quite see. You know what also funny, like I was thinking of some other people who have the seemingly perfect life, but then I also knew like, holy shit, that stuff that’s going on.
[00:11:40] Like behind all that, it’s like what? The fall I’m so glad. Like that’s not me, but still in the proximity of that person. When I see these. It’s almost like a gravitational force that makes me want that too. Even though I know, no, I don’t want that. And there’s like sides of me, right? This one side say rationally wanting that the other side [00:12:00] is like, glad it doesn’t have to.
[00:12:01] I believe that when we feed these people and we have admiration for them, or we are attracted or we’re like, wow, I wish. Perfect. The reason why we still have that is because there’s still parts in us that are insecure about our imperfection moment. By moment, this can change, right? You can be at an emotional state where you’re really grounded and accepting and embracing of yourself.
[00:12:22] And then when you see these people, you’re like, ah, five seconds later, a moment of insecurity and see somebody. Or you can see one type of perfect person that doesn’t trigger you in security, because in that regard, Perfect. You okay with how you are and then you see another person that’s perfect in a way that does trigger your insecurity because they’re perfect in a way that you wish you would be.
[00:12:41] And you haven’t just overcome that. You haven’t really faced that yet, right. To truly like play with it. I would remember growing up, I always looked at people that were perfectly. And that we’re dressed expensively. And I always had this feeling. And it’s you? It was usually, you know, I grew up in Germany and I grew up in a very like immigrant social [00:13:00] housing kind of environment.
[00:13:00] So when I would see these like richer, better address people in looking good and being well-dressed was very important in our household. My mom, my grandfather that were very. Aesthetic very local. You need to be pretty and wear nice clothes and they try their best with the budgets they had. So when I would see somebody that was dressed really extensively, nicely, there was always this feeling.
[00:13:20] This question since my childhood, that was how must it feel to be this person right now? It must feel amazing. These people always look like they just had taken a shower here. Perfect for we’re wearing these clothes. The clothes looked like they must feel amazing. And what kind of life do you have to have this perfect things that are so expensive?
[00:13:40] They must have crossed the river to be happy side I’m over here, the dirty side. And I’m like, how the fuck? Being credible until one moment. I remember an oftentimes I kept that. Oftentimes, you know, when you were places where wealthier people would show up, you would have that kind of thing have happened more often.
[00:13:57] I remember, you know, when I would go to nice hotels that would see lots [00:14:00] of people nicely dressed and I would have that kind of child like dialogue again. And then one day I was having that childlike dialogue, looking at somebody. And then I was thinking, oh, if they look at me, they could say the same thing.
[00:14:11] Like the things that I wear, I’m more expensive than this person’s things. I look like a bad ass. Fucking, I looked like rock and roll. Like I’m fucking some rock star or something, but I don’t feel like I imagined as a child, people feel like everything that I wear feels amazing. I’m in this, like on the side of the ringer, send the people that figured life out.
[00:14:29] I was just like, yeah, the other day I felt like I’ve just, you know, maybe I feel well, maybe I feel bad, but I just feel normal. Like a Sherman with issues. Sing, sketch me things on, you know, I’m too tight, I’m stressed and this and that. I mean, when you get to that point, it’s either freezing or it’s.
[00:14:45] Imprisonment, right. When you get to a point where you want it to get, when you arrived at some point, it doesn’t matter if it’s like I’m gonna become a successful entrepreneur and I’m gonna make tons of money and then you get there. Or once I worked out in my body’s physical, perfect shape, and [00:15:00] then you get there, oh, once I had this girlfriend or boyfriend, that’s so pretty that everybody will admire me and then you’ll get there.
[00:15:04] And once I have the dream house and home, whatever it is, once you get to the dream. Always, you have to realize that after the first little dopamine hit and after the first kind of like, ah, novelty of it, it might be nice. It might be something you really like, but it is not the answer to life’s problems.
[00:15:19] And it’s not the destination that you can now finally relax into perfection. Like it’s just not nothing is. And when you get to that point and proportionally for many people to how hard they had to work to get there and how much they were holding on to the idea that that’s going to be it, that is going to be the answer to everything.
[00:15:34] It’s not the gate. Once you get there, it’s a very harsh moment where you’ll have one of two choices either. Now I’m going to have to pretend for the rest of my life, that I’m happy that I’m fulfilled. I’m going to pretend this feels inside. Like it looks outside, which is like the ultimate prison right now for the rest of my life.
[00:15:51] I’m going to have to pretend this I’m going to have to sell myself. I run away from this truth because I can’t handle a faceless fucking truth that I sacrificed my whole life for 30 years [00:16:00] to get to this. But now that. Point. This was not it. And then there’s probably many, many variations of this. I’ll have to step back and decide what does this mean?
[00:16:08] And for some people, what does it mean was, oh my God, I lived the lie. This lie was the lie, but now I found a better truth. It was not about the millions remain. It’s about spiritual enlightening. I’m going to travel to India. I’m going to become a Buddhist and I’m going to practice yoga. And that is going to be.
[00:16:26] The final masterpiece of me, the true masterpiece of me. And then it’s just chased some fucking other thing. That’s another illusion. Another destination, you get to some kind of a point where you go, well, nothing in life is good. Everything is suffering. Everything is bad. See, even when you get what you want, it’s nothing.
[00:16:44] And so wanting anything is stupidity. You have very cynical and dark. Will you open one of the eyes a little bit and you’d go, well, maybe it was wrong. Maybe there isn’t a destination. Okay. Let’s take a deep breath in contemplate this idea. It is [00:17:00] equal parts, terrifying as well as absolutely enlightening and free, right?
[00:17:04] To believe there’s no destination. The greatest idea that is, and the worst idea that’s out there. Like it’s the least appealing idea. That’s out there in our world, that there is no destination. There’s not a single thing that will solve you. That resolves you, that perfects you just take a breath and just do one thing at a time and dance the dance of life and you’ll stumble and make it part of the dance.
[00:17:24] And that to me is one of the most beautiful ideas that. I also get that. It’s just not that appealing, like the thought that no matter how awesome I am, no matter how much I meditate, no matter how much MBMA therapy I’ve made, no matter how much yoga I do. Not much, no matter how healthy I eat, but how good I sleep, no matter how worth it my relationship is, but I will wake up some days and be depressed or be angry or be irritated so that it will have decisions that I have to make.
[00:17:47] That I will be overwhelmed by and not know what to do or that I will make mistakes. So we’ll have regrets. Well, I do all these things perfectly. Perfect life, all the books, I’m reading them, all the rules. I’m following them, all the habits I’m creating them. It still [00:18:00] would be that way on the flip side, you know, once you know that you’re already there.
[00:18:03] Congratulations, you’re far ahead. And as far behind, as the highest St. No life you ain’t there right with everybody else since you’ve met right there, you’re just as alive as everybody else, not holier. And also not necessarily than anyone and anyone that seems to be ahead of you because they have more money because they have more sex.
[00:18:23] So because they are more attractive or because they are maybe in some ways, and maybe in other ways, they’re way behind. It’s very tough to say, it’s very difficult to weigh people’s lives against each other. Now there’s certain areas where we can like financial success. I can very clearly wait years against mine or fitness.
[00:18:39] We could weigh against each other or whatever, but there’s areas where we can just compare and go. Yeah, this person seems ahead of that person, but when it comes to the quality of your life, It’s impossible. Somebody could live the perfect life. If we just made a list of people that are taking their lives.
[00:18:55] How many of these stories do you hear? Where the family, the friends, the coworkers are like, I [00:19:00] thought he was so happy. He had everything, the perfect wife, the perfect job people that loved him. He was cracking jokes this morning, before we went and jumped off a building. The fuck happened. What happened was that we don’t fucking know how anyone feels.
[00:19:15] And oftentimes we don’t dare to know how we really feel. Oftentimes you look in the mirror and you go just like me this morning. I went, how can I not feel good? I have the perfect life. There’s no reason to feel the way that I do right now. How dare I. Now, if I decided that that feeling was illegitimate and I needed to pretend to myself that it doesn’t mean.
[00:19:34] To have led to a very different outcome of a day and a life then accepting it and say, well, the river is flowing in a direction that’s unpleasant this morning. Let’s see. All right, let’s see where this leads. Let’s see what place will discover this way. Maybe a little soccer don’t stop. Right? There’s no sense in swimming against this, trying to stop it or pretending it doesn’t exist.
[00:19:54] There’s no sense in that other than suffering and pain and realizing that you’re human is not a tragedy. [00:20:00] This conversation with another person that I deeply love and admire. This is a kind of person that always helps everybody. And this another thing that I’ve heard over the years, what I call the helpers, right?
[00:20:09] The people that are just like always in a good mood, always smiling, always uppity uppity, always helping, running around, solving everybody’s problems. Think about everybody’s birthdays, making surprises, coordinating events and parties for people. These people that. If it’s so giving and so loving and so helpful, oftentimes the ones that run away the hardest from themselves.
[00:20:29] So they’re the harshest and not helping themselves at all. And so they have to drown the world with the thing. They are neglecting to give themselves sinking that might get them there. And I was talking to her and she was telling me how certain things in her life right now are going really, really well.
[00:20:45] And she’s surprised because the things she’s going through people would think she’d be in a really bad place, but she’s actually in a great place. And surprisingly she’s handling perfectly. Really, really nice. And I ain’t said that is awesome to hear. And in case in the future, that [00:21:00] stops to be the case at some point, and you struggle like most of humanity struggled going through this phase of life, that would also not be a tragedy because it would just confirm that you are as well as human being.
[00:21:10] I used to think that would be a tragedy. Anytime I acted like a, what I thought normal human being, to me, that was the greatest of sins and the biggest of tragedies. Let’s see, yes, the feed of my true potential and the masterpiece that I’m trying to create here. And after almost 40 years on this planet, I finally and slowly getting to the point of realizing I am a human being, and this is not a tragedy.
[00:21:36] This is not the end of the world. You know, it’s actually a beautiful, this is actually a gift. I don’t have to be above humanity to be good, to be worthwhile, to have accomplished something. Being a Schumann is a tremendous. And of course I want to do cool shit and be a good human. And of course there’s areas where I want to improve and change by being all the ways that I am human and weak and small and struggling and overwhelmed, all those things.
[00:21:59] It’s not a [00:22:00] tragedy. It is a gift. It’s a blessing. It’s rich. The richness of life to experience all of it, the emotions, all the struggles in any area in life where you think you’ve figured it out when you’re like this shit, I’m great. Life is a surprise waiting for you, motherfucker, because you obviously are looking at a very distorted mirror of yourself in that area of your life.
[00:22:23] I think you are perfect there. You figured it out. You’re great. You’re good. There’s nothing for me to do here. I already have all the answers at night. Awesome. Best of luck with that most actionable nugget for me, from my experience of my day to day, there’s been this accepting the imperfections of my day, especially my inner imperfections, the thoughts I don’t like the.
[00:22:44] I want to get rid of the emotions that stand in my way or that irritate me again. And seeing them not just as in a children was part of my experience that I need to accept and embrace, but seeing them as an enriching part of my life, it is a thing that makes my life, the [00:23:00] texture of my life. Broader, deeper, wider Wilder.
[00:23:03] It’s not something to get rid of. The more colors, the more textures I get rid of the lessons on the canvas of my life and the less alive my life becomes. So, and even that is normal. I wish that I’ll keep stumbling into, to not have some of these things. I had to be getting rid of them or to be reducing them.
[00:23:19] And then when they are reduced, when things get better, a quote unquote to one, a hold on to that. And then when it gets worse in certain area to be fighting that we’ll be surprised or guilty or. Now my mornings are great. Why is this morning not great. This doesn’t fit into my idea of how my life now it’s going to continue on forever.
[00:23:37] I’ll keep definitely stumbling into this where certain areas of my life get better. And then I’m like, that’s what I want them to be forever. And when it changes, I struggle and I.

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