Thursday, March 12, 2009

“It’s Only A Few Degrees From Perfect.”

You walk into a room for a meeting or a party. You exclaim, “Oh, my gosh, it’s so cold in here!” Then, you either walk out or you spend the rest of the time feeling miserable, cold, and unhappy.

What if a friend next to you had smiled and replied, “Why, it’s only a few degrees from perfect.” What could you do then? Could you borrow a sweater, ask to have the thermostat turned up, or really listen to what your friend has just said and realize that your momentary discomfort need not spoil the experience you are about to have, destroying the comfort and enjoyment with your friends or colleagues, these precious moments, this never-again-to-experience-day?

Or, how about the rest of your life?

As we grow older, we gradually realize that it’s no fun venturing onto the other side of 50, 60, or 70 years. Our bodies grow more sensitive to changes in temperature, our spirits yearn for comfortable old experiences, old foods, old friends which are already inexorably slipping away. We find ourselves more and more uncomfortable with the vibrancy of youthful people, styles, and activities. We begin to feel cold, pain-ridden, and more and more alone.

Are we being isolated by old age, or are we isolating ourselves? A recent study found that 20 percent of all Americans are, at any given time, unhappy because of social isolation. As we age, this percentage grows, as we physically, emotionally and spiritually allow ourselves to grow more isolated.

Most of those negative feelings of “I’m too cold,” or, “I’m too old” – the feelings of who we are and what we are that diminish ourselves and our lives -- are what some call “habitual consciousness”. These are bad habits that we can change, because we are holding onto learned misunderstandings of our human fragility which have a potential self-defeating futility that can easily plunge us into the sad slide of aging despair.

We are better than that. We know better than that. We are more resilient than that. We can change this habit into something positive, healthier and more constructive. We can listen and learn from the friend who exclaims, “It’s only a few degrees from perfect!” We can realize that it’s up to us, each one of us, who have the power, and the imagination, and the creativity, to turn even the most uncomfortable situations around into a new realities of self-affirmation, self-empowerment.

Whatever situation in which you find yourself, realize that this is you now, this is where you are now, and this is the single most important instant you have in order to make yourself feel better, be a better and stronger person, to celebrate who you are and why you are here.

You are here now, you have come all the way to here after all those years, because you have really been perfect from the very beginning of your arrival on this planet. Whatever the temperature at this moment, however way you and your body feels at this moment, you – your essential and eternal self -- are only just a few degrees from that stage of perfection which has always been the fundamental “you” all of your long life.

Listen to your friend. It isn’t so cold. It isn’t so bad. It doesn’t hurt that much. You aren’t really alone. Everything is actually so close to perfect – because you are!

Now, go tell a friend.

Find a friend.

Be a friend.


fellow traveler said...

Thank you for a "perfect" reminder of how good life can be when we simply adjust our perspective by a few degrees. Very uplifting!

Anonymous said...

My husband frequently says this to me..."A few degree3s away from perfect..." when I am cold...rather irritating since he is never cold with his perpetual (non-shedding) fur coat.
Yet his words are so true...and so profound. Zen at his mastery.

Thanks for an inspirational blog. You are a true pioneer in this age of sacasm and wit, words without heart and judging without walking the journey.....
We need people / bloggers like you who bring inspiration and hope.
Thank you.