The Gifts of Imperfection

It has been quite a while since I have posted an article here as I have been busier than usual as recently I have been setting up our new community ‘home’.  I am happy that these days I have allowed myself to acknowledge that while we are limitless beings, we still have to notice that as humans we are on a daily routine where time and hours spent doing something still factor in as to how much we get ‘done’. Gee, was my ‘star-being persona’ ever frustrated with that in earlier times. I am giving myself a pat on the back for enjoying being in a human body in spite of those apparent limitations. Ah, there is that word 'limitations'. Where do we limit ourselves by being afraid or reluctant to say something so as to avoid what we may think would be an awkward moment? We see something we want to tell someone and yet we do not say anything because we don’t want to make it awkward for that person or we are afraid they may not thank us for pointing it out. A few days ago we had our Solstice Party and the official launch of the Sandra Itenson Sweetman Community. I am still waiting for the new name of that home to show up - all suggestions are welcome!  ( By the way, you can join us by clicking the link at the top of this page). For that particular zoom call I had posted a background saying 'summer solstice' and it looked fine on my screen. However what everyone else saw was reversed. I have no idea what they thought at the time because NO ONE SAID ANYTHING. And this was a gathering with a group of people where most of them have known me for at least three years, some for over a decade! One kind person told me after the event was over that my background screen was reversed. I laughed and said “Goodness, why didn’t you say something when you noticed so I could fix it!!” It makes me wonder how many times something with letters in my zoom background was reversed because the video setting was incorrect! Note to self: from now on I am going to check with attendees at the beginning of a class and ask them that question.
So, especially as I am now usually quite fine with not being embarrassed with my blunders having reached ‘so what’ about most things instead of being stuck at the ‘what if’ frequency, I was curious as to why people did not tell me. I did a poll in my community and posted both screenshots, my one and what they saw. Fortunately I had taken a screenshot for posterity.  I made a copy and flipped it so it looked like what they saw. I posted both photos and  asked them if a) they saw the error and were reluctant to tell me, b) they wanted to tell me and didn’t know how to, c) they hadn’t noticed the image was reversed and,  because I feel anything is possible, d) their screen looked just fine. No one answered d)😀.
The results are in:
71% said they noticed the error but were reluctant to tell me.
14% said they noticed the error, wanted to tell me but didn’t know how to.
14% said they hadn’t noticed anything wrong with the background image.
0% said the image was fine on their screens.
So this made me think back to the times when I would notice something ‘embarrassing’ like spinach stuck in a friend’s teeth and had not said anything. Why was that so hard? Did I want to spare them that awkward realization? Or was I the one who was embarrassed about the event? I think it was a combination of both those statements. These days, I have no problem pointing out something like that. Perhaps because I am no longer embarrassed to have food stuck in my teeth. Stuff happens.  A kind friend would tactfully point that out so that friend could do something about it.The friend could then chose to do something about it or not, totally up to them.  To me it is much worse to allow that friend to walk around all day smiling at everyone without knowing they are flashing bits of their meal at everyone if that sort of thing would bother them. And why do we find that embarrassing in the first place, I wonder? Food gets stuck, blunders happen. Isn’t that all about the perfection of imperfection?
This was my best takeaway from the event, to be an example of the perfection of imperfection!  Did this blunder cause anyone harm? No. It did cause some sort of distraction for 85% of the audience, and the person who told me said she spent part of the time trying to figure out what the background image spelled.  Perhaps this was an opportunity created by the Universe and carried out by my video settings to remind us to deal with what makes us uncomfortable about speaking up? Was I upset no one had told me, absolutely not, that inspired me to conduct a survey and write this article. May we all stop sparing each other what we may perceive as embarrassing moments as, first of all ,it may not be as embarrassing to the person as you imagine and secondly, if it was that embarrassing wouldn’t that person thank you for giving them the opportunity to do something about it?Oh and as far as polls and statistics go, according to my math 71+14+14 = 99.  What happened to the other 1%? Perhaps they are so silent they didn’t even vote? I guess this poll rounded numbers down? So much for statistics 😀.

Image by Christelle Olivier on pixabay

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2 years ago

Great reading Sandra. Lots of “food”” for thought😊