Friday, July 17, 2009

The beauty of flaws

Once there was a man who carried water daily from a stream to his house. He carried it in two large pots hung from a pole slung across his neck.

One pot was perfect and always arrived at his house full of water. The other pot had a crack so it was only half full when he arrived home.

One day the cracked pot told the man he felt ashamed that he failed to deliver a full pot of water to the house.

The man replied with kindness that the pot was not a failure and told him to look along the path on the way home from the stream today.

The pot noticed the path was lined with lots of flowers. It was still sad feeling that it was a failure because it could not deliver a full pot of water.

But the man told the pot not to be sad. He said, "For all these years I have planted flower seeds on your side of the path only. Every day as we walked back from the stream you watered the seeds through your crack and the seeds sprouted and the flowers bloomed. Because you are the way you are, everyone in the village can decorate their homes with beautiful flowers. Each of us is a cracked pot in one way or another. But there is still no limit to the beauty we can create."

Everyone has what they would consider to be flaws. Often we focus on our flaws and ignore our gifts. But even our flaws have their value. They teach us lessons and if viewed from a compassionate perspective they help us to become stronger, more patient and more humble.

Perhaps you have tight hamstrings and consider that a flaw. But maybe you could use those tight hamstrings to really learn how to engage the muscles of your legs so that you can safely stretch your hamstrings. Perhaps that focus of learning how to engage your legs evenly leads to a greater sense of balance and grounding than you have previously experienced. Your hamstrings may lead you to a practice of better balance and strength.

Take a second look at your flaws. How can you use them to your advantage? How can you use them to help someone else? How can you use your flaws to bring more beauty into the world? We all have hidden gifts, we all have flaws, and we are all human. Our flaws can teach us more forgiveness for ourselves and others. Our flaws can teach us how to use our own uniquenss in a beneficial way.

Know that there is always someone who believes in you even when you feel you have failed. We all share the gift of a divine energy that breaths and lives in and through us. Look for the flowers along the road of life and notice their beauty despite their flaws.

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