Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Throbblefoot Spectre

Due to temporary absence of creativity, yet another lack of pertinent title...

This past Sunday, for the second time, I attended a Quaker meeting at the Putney Friends' Meeting House. Even though I am just a silent spectator for the time being, I am really enjoying the structure (or lack of traditional church structure) at the meetings. A woman sitting close to me stood up and read a passage from a book which expounded on allowing yourself to be flawed, natural, and not have to put up a facade of perfection. The passage spoke of how we were created with our flaws for a reason. It is what makes us human, unique, and more able to give of ourselves. It really spoke to me on a deep level because as of lately I have been striving to live a more straightforward, authentic life. This has included admitting and accepting my flaws. This is not to say that one can't work on improving them, but truth be told I've been holding myself to a borderline impossible standard for years now and it has cost me a lot.

For a long time I have been walking through life trying hard to be precisely what American culture dictates we should be: strong, composed 100% of the time, intelligent, intense, passionate, and perfect in every way. Why is it so wrong to show your weaknesses? We walk around with this heir of false dignity, worrying about what everyone else thinks of us, losing ourselves in complexity (hiding from stigma), while we ignore many of the essential building blocks for true happiness. All for the sake of what? Approval? Popularity? Do the ends justify the means in this case? What do we have to show for all of our social athletics after all is said and done?

I can honestly say that ever since I have started admitting my faults instead of pretending they aren't there, I have better learned to deal with them and simplify my life... things have become clearer and there is an existential richness that I have never experienced before. I am progressing, but I still have a lot of growing to do.


Shelby said...

Yes...it always seems a lot easier said than done...at least, for me...:)

I have always found the Quakers very interesting, myself. I'd like to attend a meeting some day, just to see what it's like. I've always been interested in all types of faiths ever since I can remember...maybe because I was brought up basically agnostic...and that's just never really felt quite right to me.

Steve S said...

Not only do I admit my flaws, I embrace them, or just accept them, I guess, meaning I don't always try to correct them.

It's all perspective anyway, my recent post, I commented on the fact that I was a bleeding heart liberal, wearing my heart on my sleeve. Others see that as a flaw, a sign of weakness not me!

So maybe flaws aren't really flaws at all!

nonsequitur said...

Hello again Shelby. If you are looking to find a quaker meeting near you, go to: http://www.quakerfinder.org/ and enter your zip code, they give you a full listing of meetings, dates, & times near you. This is where I found the place I've attended these past couple of Sundays. I've also been interested in other faiths too. I've done a little studying of buddhism, it's really not that different from Quakerism and some of the other more peaceful, ecumenical forms of religion. I continue to stay rooted in the general Faith I was raised in, but I've decided to pursue a different, less dogmatic form of it.

Steve, thank you for your perspective, it makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, I believe that as long as we live in a testosterone-drive society, bleeding heart liberalism will continue to be perceived incorrectly. Let's hope for change in the upcoming elections, eh? :)