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Old 10-31-2018, 11:13 PM   #5
Philosopher ain't no job
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Default Re: Face, Unrealistic Expectations, and Life (...that should just about cover it)

Originally Posted by flyngirl5 View Post
I very much enjoyed this rant (yes, I did make it all the way through to the end!) And not just because it is in stark contrast to the political rants I've been posting on Facebook lately... *Ahem* The concept of the perfect mate/friend/family member resonates with me, but from the other perspective. I tend to be more comfortable around imperfect people. I think it's because it took me a long time to get comfortable with my wildly imperfect self, and eventually I came to embrace the crazy, common-senseless, hot-headed, forgetful, tactless and obsessively passionate person that I am. So I try to help others do the same. But - maybe because of this - I have a hard time with people who demand perfection. I like imperfection in my TV & movie characters, too. I actually disagree about Face (or even Starbuck) being in any way "perfect". In terms of physical attractiveness, sure. But they were supremely flawed guys and that was part of the attraction for me. Maybe most of it.

Perfection doesn't exist, and if it did, it would be hella boring. I think most of us get disappointed with ourselves when we don't live up to our own high expectations. The most "real" people, to me, are ones who can admit and own their flaws and shortcomings, even if it's difficult, and are all the more accepting of flaws in others. The people who have such high standards for others that they can't stay in a relationship for any length of time... Well I guess I should feel sorry for people like that, but I don't. We put enough stress on ourselves without someone constantly making us prove we're good enough. A relationship - whether romantic or otherwise - should always be ugly and honest. Which means you have good days and bad days. You have days when you're angry as hell. But I don't believe I would ever make someone I care about feel that s/he isn't "good enough" for me. I think doing so is a sign you haven't dealt with your own demons yet...
You are so right, and I have a lot of admiration for you for accepting yourself the way you are. That's something I still struggle a lot with - it's hard to believe otherwise when people have always told you you're not good enough to be accepted - and it definitely shows up both in having a hard time accepting personal flaws as well as accepting the flaws of others. I've grown to where I'm uber-tolerant of people in some areas and I enjoy diversity of backgrounds and ideas, but I still find myself being judgmental at times, which I hate. I'm honestly in a limbo-land where I get frustrated with people who seem judgmental and closed-minded but also frustrated with people who don't seem cautious enough. And it really reflects on me more than on them.

Insisting on perfection from others is really an attempt at controlling one's life to make it go just the way we want, which is related to a fear of being out of control. Because if I can't make sure I get what I want, how do I not end up with a miserable existence? There's way too much philosophy and spiritual belief involved in the basis of this reasoning to be unpacked here (it could be unpacked according to a couple different belief systems, although naturally I would consider mine the most complete). But essentially, we have to grapple with the truths that (1) we are not in control of anything but our own choices, (2) there is a higher power which does exercise direction over our circumstances, and (3) we can only know that we are on the best path of existence, experiencing the right and necessary kinds of imperfection accompanied by glimpses of perfect joy, when we live rightly aligned to the higher power controlling the universe around us.

It's interesting to me that on this level, a pantheistic or even generically spiritual belief can align with Christianity. The difference lies in whether this higher power is personal or impersonal, how much accountability we have for our actions, the nature and seriousness of our imperfection, how to deal with it, and how we reconcile our desire for a world of beauty and peace with our existence in a world with too much of the opposite. In true Christianity, God's forgiveness is secured forever, which means that those forgiven should be able to forgive other equally imperfect people. Unfortunately, people still want to exercise control and still try to find security in thinking themselves better than others, leading to judgmental criticism and rejection instead of love. This attitude is far from exclusive to the Christian community, but it has become a hallmark of a certain era of American cultural "Christianity," although it goes against everything it claims to stand for. I think my experience with both positive and negative examples in the Christian community has fueled my passion about the subject and a desire to live loving all people equally, which is something I'm still growing in and need just a little supernatural help for.

Well, there you go - you said you enjoyed the first rant, so I gave you another. I guess this is my way of learning to accept myself: being more forthcoming about what I'm really thinking instead of worrying so much about how it could be taken. Thanks for sharing some great food for thought.
"The tantalizing discomfort of perplexity is what inspires otherwise ordinary men and women to extraordinary feats of ingenuity and creativity; nothing quite focuses the mind like dissonant details awaiting harmonious resolution."
- Brian Greene
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