Embracing Imperfection: The Journey of Loving Life

Embracing Imperfection: The Journey of Loving Life

Ian Mansell

There is a saying amongst musicians that “an amateur practices their piece until they get it right, but the professional practices until they can’t get it wrong.”

So, what is an ‘amateur’ anyway? The term describes someone who is a hobbyist, which commonly means they are not yet good enough to become a professional. 

But look at the word itself: ‘amateur’ comes from the French word for Love - ‘amour.’ In Dutch, they are called ‘leif-hebbers’, which literally means ‘love-havers.’ Amateur musicians are motivated by their love of music and music-making.

Becoming a professional musician requires you to descend into the pursuit of ‘perfection,’ a process that takes many years of practice alone in the studio. During this time, you have to confront the physical demands of playing your instrument to ever-higher degrees of accuracy, tenacity and velocity, which requires you to confront your mental clarity as well, clearing away fuzzy thinking in relation to your mind-body-muscular coordination and fears around performance anxiety, ego, and harmonising with your colleagues.

Only when you have acquired sufficient control of yourself and your instrument can you begin to focus on the aesthetics of your musicianship – your interpretation of the music’s messages, your personal expressiveness and so on. In other words, you then return to your love of music, but now you are equipped with the means to express that love with a voice that is attractive and fluent, unmarred by harshness or technological interruptions.

To what extent are YOU a professional of your life? Are you a lover of life? Are you a lover of your OWN unique life? Or are you a lover of being loved by others?

Where does Perfection come into it?

In our society, compulsory schooling aims to instil in every child a certain degree of perfection in reading, writing, arithmetic and so on. Higher schooling aims to instil a perfect introduction to a particular career or body of knowledge. Society then takes you through the next level – perfecting how to run a household, maintain a relationship, raise a child and earn a living whilst avoiding the pitfalls of illness, accidents, addictions and imprisonment. 

Your spiritual apprenticeship then requires you to investigate the unresolved/unregrouped events of your past that still trigger you. Only by clarifying and healing your past can you begin to reveal the fullness of your potency and start to express the radiant love that lies at the heart of every spiritual Thrust. 

Auditioning for a symphony orchestra requires you to demonstrate that you can nail the most difficult music written for your instrument one after the other, and is then followed by a year’s trial in the job to show you can work cooperatively with your colleagues. 

Should you be confined to a practice room with your Unique Vibration, not allowed to come out until you can demonstrate that you can consistently live your spiritual Thrust in your daily life despite all the challenges society can throw at you? 

Leaving aside the professional musician, movie stunt drivers and similar elite performers, it can safety be said that nobody needs to be perfect in any aspect of their life. You can still express yourself if you can’t spell correctly, add a column of numbers, count to ten in Japanese, avoid a messy divorce or bash out a pop song on a ukulele. You can still get by in life, and you can still be a perfectly loving and lovable person at the same time.

Yet the goalposts of perfection are still out there in front of you.

Aspiring to Perfection

Our angel guides help you respond to life's challenges by showing you a better way forward. It is their job to help you move away from your old habits and limitations, so they shine their light on people who have already moved closer to the goals than you have. Your feelings recognise such people for their achievements, although you cannot understand how they did it.

Perfection is there to motivate you and inspire you in your struggle away from confusion and mediocrity. Your feelings respond to the instances of perfection you encounter in your daily life: - the perfect shot for goal, the brilliant acting in a movie, the uplifting concert, the sublime painting, the amazing putt. Your feelings worship perfection when you see it and can relate it to your own life.

It is there to inspire you. To aspire to.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Perfection

What you must never do, however is use it to belittle yourself. If you engage with this, it is your Gift of Vision out-of-balance. 

Perfection is transitory. It is only ever a fleeting experience, but it is one that you can relive over and over until you eventually and inevitably exhaust its power to inspire you. 

What you must never do is use it as a yoke, a burden around your neck, that keeps reminding you how far below that standard you are.

Once you start beating yourself up about your imperfection – exercising your Whip of Despicability - confused souls, who are chronically obsessed with the failures of their own lives, will have you for breakfast!!

You must remain, at all times, the lover of your life. Our angels are the professionals. Sure, you can aspire, and should aspire, to become professionals like them - one day - but in the meantime, you need to just love the life you have right now, with humility and reverence for yourselves, at whatever step on the ladder to enlightenment you find ourselves on right now.

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