“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness — mine, yours, ours — need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.”
– Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
To be whole is not to be unbroken, is not to be perfect, is not to be well balanced. It does not mean that all my goals have been reached, my desires fulfilled, my expectations met. It does not mean that I have found God, lost my demons, eat vegan/local/paleo/organic. It does not mean that I have my shit together, meditate daily, move for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week.
To be whole is to see myself in the mirror and to say “I love you” and to say “Yes” and to say “You matter” and to believe every single word. To be whole is to gain a more objective view of my life history, to see that the events themselves do not define me any more than a snow storm, a flat tire, or getting the flu.
Because my history is intertwined with that of others, because major events happened between other people and myself, because minor tremors rendered relationships dysfunctional, it is easy to take it all personally. None of it was personal.
I once read this line somewhere and with every human fallibility I experience (either as giver or receiver), my understanding of it deepens: “We make our mistakes on each other.”
This being human is damned hard work.