“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As I’m closing in on my 50th birthday, I find that I’m reflecting on not only a life lived but also a life left unlived. My one overriding regret is that I have spent far too many years defining myself by what I have attained, by what I have accumulated. This past year I have come to believe that the possibility of “perfection” has always lain within me, yet it’s not until I sit within the discomfort of those bare walls inside of me, that I begin to appreciate that perfection is unearthed once “there is no longer anything to take away.” This may account for why our heart feels the most at peace when we spend quiet time with the person who brings us our greatest joy – not a word is exchanged, the ‘perfection’ comes with knowing that after everything else has been striped away, only love resides in this space.
“Perhaps we each have a wound, a vulnerable place that we have to protect in order to survive. And yet sometimes we overcompensate so much for the things we are trying to hide that no one ever suspects the truth… and then we are left with the true aloneness of never really being seen.” ~Nadia Bolz-Weber
One of life’s bitter truths is that in order to heal, to be released from the bondage of self, we are often asked to inhabit a place of intense vulnerability. Having buried the secret of being a survivor of child sexual abuse for over 35 years, I know how adept I am at being in the world, yet never being seen. Eventually the day came when I no longer was willing to be ‘unseen’, and that was the day I finally found the strength to walk towards that vulnerability.