It’s another hot and humid day in Maine which is remarkable because we are nearing the ending of September when we usually are donning sweaters and rain jackets. We had a very rainy springtime with summer not getting underway until the middle of July. Now we are finding we are in need of rain! However, instead of looking at the imperfections in our weather patterns, we can look at the different aspects of abundance brought with changes that appear other than the way we expect them to look. Just like we have many opportunities to consider how imperfect our lives are and indeed, how imperfect we are as individuals. By a shift in perspective, we can see our imperfections as something of beauty leading to abundance.
Let us consider the following ancient tale of two pots.
There was a cracked pot that was used to carry water to the dining table. The table was set far from the main home, out in a field surrounded by shading trees, blowing grass, and flowers pushing up toward the sun. Friends from neighboring farms would come to dine with the family who owned the home.
Because of the crack in the pot, as the water was carried along the path from the home to the dining table, water would leak along the way. The pot was embarrassed that it was not the perfect, uncracked pot like the other used by another server. None the less, the pot did its best to hold enough water to help quench the thirst of the guests. It wondered, however, if what it contributed was good enough. After all, the other pot, in its perfection, never leaked water along its journey and always arrived at the end of its journey to serve in full compacity.
The water carrier, one day sensing the pot’s insecurities, asked why it was feeling the way it did.
“Well,” said the pot. “Do you not see? I dribble water all along the path as we go to the table. The other water pot does not. I always feel embarrassed at my imperfection and inability to serve completely.”
“Look at the path we walk, my friend,” said the water carrier. “What do you see?”
“I see flowers. I see insects feeding on the flowers. There are tufts of grass growing,” replied the cracked pot.
“That is true, my friend,” replied the water carrier. ” You see the water you leak as an imperfection and an inability to serve in full capacity. I see your crack as perfectly imperfect. Along the journey to quenching the thirst of the diners, you leave some water to quench the thirst of other diners and grow beauty. Our imperfections are illusions made real by seeing with our minds instead of our hearts. All works as it should, even our perceived shortcomings. Don’t judge, by the whole, your relationship role. It is the connection that needs examing, including with ourselves.”
Caregivers often perceive we are not perfect enough in our intentions and fall short of what we see to be the caregiver’s role. No matter how much we serve in this compacity, we always look to be perfect, and when that expectation isn’t met, we see these as cracks in our caregiving and lose sight of the bigger picture. We don’t consider cracks in perfection as space for beauty to grow.
The cracked pot had a shift in its perspective. It saw its crack allowed space for good things to happen. Does it matter that we see what those things are? No. It is important that we have faith and see the bigger picture. It’s important that we trust that even if we are not doing what we consider to be a perfect job, that is only the mind judging us. It is up to us as caregivers to let go of the outcome and trust that we are doing the best we can at the time and with what we have to work. When doubts come creeping in, we can use that space to pause and consider a shift in approach is perhaps needed, whether it is in the way we view our role or move away from that role.
The important thing, in the long run, is that as caregivers we adhere to our authentic self and understand that even in what we perceive is an imperfection, all is as it is intended to be. That we are lovingly guided to see beauty where none was thought to exist.