Photo by Pamela Willett

“We have to be careful that in throwing out the devil, that we don’t throw out the best part of ourselves.”  — Nietzche


In last week’s blog post, “Listening Fire,” I wrote about how I had forgotten to listen. And I had. I was wearing fiery yoga pants that didn’t breath which caused me to be agitated and fired up. As a result, I forgot to create the space that makes listening possible, and I burned things instead. I decided to get rid of the pants.

As I handed over those yoga pants with the flaming Sphinx running up the sides, I had a pang of sadness. What was I getting rid of?

It’s so easy to apologize for my fire.

My mother read that blog and wrote: “I love your imperfections.” Oh, that’s just a mother’s response, I thought. But something about what she said, and the pang I felt when I handed off those pants wormed its way in and got me wondering.

When I apologize for my fire, am I throwing out the best part of me?

What if the capacity to singe the eyebrows of another is the same quality that allows me to burn through the bullshit to see the truth? Could this fiery quality be as much a weakness as it is a superpower?

What if the parts of ourselves we are the most apt to apologize for are also our most valuable assets?

Danielle LaPorte, in her book “White Hot Truth,” says “We are big spirits with human shortcomings. And if we’re being our authentic selves, we will be walking, breathing, dancing, tweeting contradictions.”

In “Good Will Hunting,” Robin William’s character is talking about his late wife to the character played by Matt Damon .

“My wife used to fart in her sleep,” he says. “One night she farted so loud she woke the dog up… She’s been gone two years and that’s the stuff I remember. Little things like that. Those are the things I miss the most… People call these things imperfections, but they’re not. No that’s the good stuff.” Watch the clip here.

It is so tempting to want to get rid of the parts of ourselves that get in the way in order to become “better”. What if the real trick is to get better at being who we truly are? While we embrace our magnificent spirits, can we also celebrate our “imperfections”, our very real human shortcomings, our walking contradictions? Can we call it all “the good stuff?”