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Completely Incomplete, Perfectly Imperfect

Meditation Rock 4Everything that can exist – at any given moment – exists.  Reality is entirely complete.  It has no holes.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, is amiss.  The discrepancies that we see are the differences between the ideal reality that we have dreamed up and the actual reality that has manifested at a given moment.

Whether we like what we witness or not, whether it matches our definitions of perfection or not, it is what it is and it is continuously changing.  This is the mind-boggling perfection of reality: it is ever renewing, progressing from one state of completion to another, with or without us, with or without our consent or approval.

My guess is that this stubborn independence of reality rubs you the wrong way.  It threatens your sense of control.  You don’t like this constant change (and resist it), you like status quo (and try to preserve it), and you struggle with constant succession of unfinished business (and seek closure). 

Your boss tells you to drop the project you’ve been working on for months – unfinished! – and to start a new one.  The car you just spent your Saturday morning cleaning and waxing is already covered with your kids’ palm prints.  Your MBA night class professor puts you on the spot with a think-off-the-cuff question that you cannot possibly know how to answer.  Life’s like a batting cage and each ball is a curveball.

As you try to pause to analyze why you missed the previous one, the new curveball is already on a collision course with your forehead.  You feel there just isn’t enough time to be perfect all the time at everything.  And just being good enough has never been enough for you.  So, you double-up your efforts, get up earlier, work longer, take care of yourself less often, doggedly trying to catch up with this incessant flow of reality, feeling that you are falling farther and farther behind your vision of how your life should be…

Embrace this inevitable, unstoppable stream of life.  Flow with it rather than try to swim against it.  If reality is a story, it is narrated in its entirety and yet is never finished.  It is completely incomplete, and so are you.  This too is the ordinary perfection of what is!

Adapted from Present Perfect: a Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go

Creative Commons License photo credit: elfsternberg

Completely Incomplete, Perfectly Imperfect

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2012). Completely Incomplete, Perfectly Imperfect. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Aug 2012
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