I love how life is always teaching me and offering me opportunities to grow and come up higher. I guess my blog should have come with a little warning (although I have mentioned this repeatedly in posts before) I AM NOT A PERFECT HUMAN BEING. I don’t claim to be and honestly, I’m not sure I want to be.
The idea for this post has been stirring in my mind for some time about perfectionism and how it always seems we feel the need to be perfect and have everything perfectly together. However, you and I both know very well that life is not like that. Nobody is perfect and if any of us were living a perfect existence, I think that we would be rather bored and miserable.
Here is a little known fact about me, I live in a small farm town. I profess to be a vegan and I am surrounded by meat eaters and a town that has many feed mills. Animal feed mills, one of which my husband is employed at. I guess you could think differently of us now because that is both twisted and to some, even comical. When I go out for a walk, I often see trucks loaded with pigs or cows which I assume are being taken to slaughter. It is a sad, sad world.
I find that the fact that I received a comment on my blog yesterday about just this to be ‘perfectly’ (pun intended) fitting for today’s post.
The comment reads,
Correct me if I’m wrong, but all that vegan food your family eats is paid for by a local “feed mill” so you don’t support eating meat – But the meat industry is what is supporting you.
My response to this comment is yes, you are correct and no, we are not perfect. This is obviously something that we are well aware of and have thought a great deal about. When we originally moved here we were not vegan and never ever thought that we would be. Now that we have made that change and are becoming more conscious of all the effects that our thoughts and actions have, we are giving our best.
This line of work is obviously not in line with our beliefs but there are other things to consider too before my husband could even take another job or if we were to move, like out girls and the fact that we have a baby on the way. Also this job is within walking distance and we don’t have to use our vehicle which is a major pollutant and cause of harm to our environment. There are pros and cons on both sides to consider.
I find this to be such a common attack for vegans or anybody else who is trying to live a more conscious life. People are always looking to you to mess up and be imperfect. Well, I am. LIFE IS. Just because I am vegan doesn’t mean I am not still entangled in this world and forced to live a non-vegan existence. As I mentioned in my Vegan Freak post, this is a non-vegan world and not one where many strive for consciousness and compassion. As much as we try to practice ahimsa in our daily lives, each and every one of us wakes up every single day to cause harm. Majority of the jobs that are available either cause harm to the environment, animals or people. We cause harm to our world everyday through our actions either directly or indirectly. We cause harm to people when we choose unloving, demeaning, bitter or jealous thoughts. We are human and as such we are imperfect.
Al Gore and other environmentalists talks about climate change, but still have to travel and pollute the earth to do so to give their presentations. They are not perfect. Our society is run on oil, which many lives are killed over daily so we can drive to work, to get money to buy foods that were transported across the world to get to us or other stuff that has been made using our earths natural resources. It is not perfect. We throw away tons of garbage, pollute our oceans, kill off entire species and wreak havoc on our water, earth and sky everyday. We are far from perfect.
The definition of vegan as defined by the vegan society is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose. That is all I am trying to do. I am living and learning. I am not an enlightened being. I am not perfect. Each day I just wake up with one plan in mind, to give my best.
I used to make up all these rules for myself and lists of things that I had to do, until one day I realized that perfection is overrated. This whole idea of needing to be perfect or live the perfect life only robs me of the precious moments that are given to me each day, so I decided that each day I will just give my best. That is all that I can do and knowing that I am doing my best to live a life of love and be conscious of my thoughts and actions makes me feel so much better. It is what makes life so awesome because there is always room for growth because we can never truly arrive.
So those are my words of wisdom for today. I admit I am not perfect and I am willing to bet that you aren’t either. Why not give up the need to be perfect or expect perfection from others and just decide to give your best and see the best in everyone? I am learning that this is a much more peaceful and meaningful way to live. Just because we will never get it 100% together doesn’t mean we just give up or not bother trying altogether. We give our best because that is all we can do.
I wanted to leave you with something that has been of particular inspiration to me and that I hope you will remember when you are having thoughts of doubt or going through a difficult time in your life.
There always seems to be so many opportunities to just give up and forget about even trying to be good or hope for a better world. And I am talking MANY! I think about it a lot, but what would life be like if I just stopped trying? I think that for myself it would be very dull, depressing, unsatisfying and completely void of meaning. I have even seen that from my past and the way I used to live and think. The way I live now gives me a purpose and makes me feel good about myself. I wake up to each new day and choose to take the difficult route because in my heart I really want to do good and to be a good person. I believe that it is my purpose.
Perfection is overrated. Perfection is dull. Perfection is not the point.
It is not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.