I don't enjoy movies much, and theaters are particularly difficult. That said, I now live in the middle of nowhere, yet there is a theater. (A nice one!) Stadium seating. Popcorn. And only three of us in the theater. Suddenly movies in the theater are less intimidating. If I freak out, everyone there knows me and knows that I freak out. Which strangely enough makes it so I freak out less...
Tonight, I went to see the movie Tron: Legacy. I figured it would be a little strange, lots of cool lights, and a happy ending. (I only see movies with happy endings. Life has enough crap in it, movies should resolve nicely at the end.) I found myself sobbing at the end... not because it was sad, but because I identified with it.
The Grid, the digital world, was supposed to be a perfect world. That was the whole mission. Daddy Flynn created this world. Then he created Clu, and gave him the job of creating the perfect world. This all went wrong. Daddy Flynn got trapped in his digital world. Son Flynn goes in to save him.
They are all about to escape and Clu says, "I did what you asked me to do. I created a perfect world!" Daddy Flynn's reply is what got me.
"Perfection is unknowable and right in front of us. I didn't know when I created you. How could you have known?"
I cried. All my life I have been searching for perfection. Taught that THAT was the goal. One day, if I worked hard enough God would make me perfect. In the next life, everyone would be perfect. I didn't know what that meant, but in my mind, we would all become the drones we pretend to be. We wouldn't have to pretend anymore. But thinking about that caused me dis-ease. What did perfection really mean? Would my friends with black skin suddenly become white? Would they suddenly have smooth hair and a nose that looked more like mine? Or would I suddenly have a nose more like theirs? Would I suddenly enjoy church and living the way I was trying so hard to live? Would gay friends suddenly not be gay anymore? Would there suddenly be no anger and no emotions? Would all of my wants and desires just suddenly go away?
The answer to all of those questions is, "No." We are all already perfect.One of my favorite authors is Miguel Ruiz. He supposed that the biggest lie is the lie of our imperfection. When Eve took a bite of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the biggest lie took hold of her. The lie that there is good and bad. The lie that we aren't enough just as we are. Some of my biggest questions about the church have come from the story of Adam and Eve. It didn't make sense to me, but the way Miguel Ruiz explained it did make sense.
Because of that lie, we go searching for perfection, but we never find it. In our pursuit, we miss that it is already here. Eating disorders are (partially) about the quest for the perfect body, and the cure for that part of eating disorders is to realize that my body is perfect, because its MY body. Not because it looks a certain way. Not because I can push it to do things. Not because of anything except that its mine. And its perfect. If I need to sleep or eat or sit down, still perfect. If I can't fast, or stop myself from feeling pain, or push it to run a marathon, still perfect. If I sit in a wheelchair, still perfect.
The cure for perfectionism is to see that perfection is right in front of us. We don't have to go looking anywhere, because we've already found it.