I’m reading a fabulous book called The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. It’s terrific. If you don’t believe me, believe Anne Lamott who says on back cover, “I love this book and I’ve been foisting it on people for years.
As someone who spends a lot of time striving to get things right (read perfect), it is not only refreshing but possibly life saving to be reminded that there is no perfect, that I will never get everything right. The gist of the book is: I’m Not All-Right, and You’re Not All-Right, But That’s Okay — THAT’S All-Right (pg. 28).
Rather than making a futile attempt to sum up the book and do it justice, I thought I’d leave you with a few choice paragraphs to ponder as we face a new year. I’m hopeful for 2014. Odds are I’ll get some things right, and I’ll get some things wrong — if only I can remember I’m human and cut myself a break. I look forward to walking the journey with you.
An Excerpt from “The Spirituality of Imperfection”
“Man is the creature that wants to be God,” Jean-Paul Sartre observed. The spirituality of imperfection wrestles directly with that quest, assuring that — although “first of all, we have to quit playing God” — whoever or whatever “God” is, He, She, or It does not scorn our quest or despise us for our defects and imperfections. Imperfection is rather the crack in the armor, the “wound” that lets “God” in. As Meister Eckhart wrote almost seven hundred years ago: “To get at the core of God at his greatest, one must first get into the core of himself at his least.”
In a modern expression of Eckhart’s insights, Jungian analyst Marion Woodman identifies addiction as one of the “wounds” that lets “God” in:
Addiction keeps person in touch with the god…At the very point of vulnerability is where the surrender takes place — that is where god enters. The god comes through the wound.
“God comes through the wound”: Our very imperfections — what religion labels our “sins,” what therapy calls our “sickness,” what philosophy terms our “errors” — are precisely what bring us closer to the reality that no matter how hard we try to deny it, we are not the ones in control here. And this realization, inevitably and joyously, brings us closer to “God”:
One of the disconcerting — and delightful — teachings of the master was: “God is closer to sinners than to saints.”
This is how he explained it: “God in heaven holds each person by a string. When you sin, you cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot — and thereby bringing you a little closer to him. Again and again your sins cut the string — and with each further knot God keeps drawing you closer and closer.”
An Opportunity for End of Year Giving
As I look forward to 2014, there are many opportunities on the horizon spawned by the success of last year, including an amazing theater lab experience, a fruitful collaboration with NYC director Mia Rovegno who has transformed the show, and two very successful performances in Nashville with Amy Grant and Vanderbilt University. How to Draw a Nekkid man continues to reach diverse audiences and offers a fresh voice about leading an authentic life, spirituality and women’s issues while deftly crossing gender lines. Touring to venues — while working hard on my memoir and coordinating storytelling appearances — requires a broad base of funding for marketing, travel and operating expenses. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to I Will Be Good Productions to help us continue bringing this story to more audiences who are hungry to be validated and inspired to use their creative voice.
I Will Be Good Productions is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of I Will Be Good Productions may be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. To donate online, please click here.
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