Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Much Love is Perfection?

How much do we have to love to be perfect? How much did Jesus love? I don't think anyone can answer this question. Not only would we each have a slightly different view of what constitutes "love", but we would each express magnitude in a different way. It is not like a test in school where you score 100 and that is the most you can do. Talking about the amount of love needed to be perfect is similar to talking about a piece of art. Would you ever say that a piece of art is perfect?

So perfection is not an absolute in how we can define it. I bring this up because many of us have harshly judged ourselves because we don't live up to the standard we set for ourselves. We think we can be more kind, more loving, more patient, etc. But we are nailing ourselves when we don't even know what level would "satisfy" our internal critic. I can tell you what level that is --- there is no level. This internal voice which criticizes and condemns is not who you really are. As you move along the spiritual path and grow in your remembrance of God, you begin to hear that true voice more often. Jesus knew nothing but that voice. He knew only that which he truly was, and he was the first to fully come to that recognition of Oneness. That is the path we all walk.

So back to the idea of perfection. If there is no absolute, then should we be satisfied with where we are at? Yes and no (don't you love these double answers). God is All. If we do not accept where we are at, even if that is a place we want to grow from, then we are not accepting all that is and our place in that. We are saying we are not good enough and in doing so, we will not be able to recognize our divinity because we are affirming that we are not part of the Oneness. Basically, we are separating from ourselves (from God). This does not mean that you don't strive to become more patient, more loving, etc. Therein lies the paradox. We push to improve ourselves while accepting that we are okay, fine, and most importantly perfect as we are. But in doing so we have to redefine our definition of perfection. As opposed to a destination or endpoint, it could be labeled more as awareness and acceptance. It could be labeled as a full understanding of the paradox. It could be labeled as knowing that the desire to get better does not change who we really are. None of this is a change in who we are. What is undergoing change is the recognition of who we are in relation to God. If we have full awareness of that Oneness, full awareness of His Love, then it doesn't really matter what our outer circumstances or what our actions exactly look like. Perfection is in the awareness. If we are aware, our actions and words (kindness, love, patience, etc.) will line up with that awareness.

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