Wholeness and Perfectionism: We’re all of the above.

.. Parker Palmer’s words:

“Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”

I remember being surprised that I resonated so deeply with the quote. I actually didn’t consider myself a perfectionist — it felt impossible when I was constantly haunted by all the mistakes I make, everywhere, all the time.

Perfectionism is my water, I’m telling you! But I’m thankful to writers like Parker who have gifted me with the language of wholeness, that beautiful and difficult alternative to perfection. This week’s On Being guest, physician and storyteller Rachel Naomi Remen, is another healthy critic of our perfectionist culture, which she calls “a major addiction of our time.”

.. “Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten.”

.. What a wise way to frame wholeness — not as an achievement, but rather as the reality of being present to who we are, in its entirety, at this very moment.

.. “There are no shortcuts to wholeness. The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we’ve shown ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say to ourselves and to the world at large, ‘I am all of the above.’”