Finding the Self

Today I went to work with no make up on.

It’s the first time I’ve done this in quite a while.

You see, I was brushing my teeth when a strange thought came over me. I thought “why do I have to put on my make up after this? Why do I do that?”

And my answers always seemed to lead right back to my self image, my sense of perfection.

But the more I thought about the word “perfection” the more I realized how much I just didn’t believe in the word.

I truly believe there is no such thing as perfection. Part of being human is accepting imperfections in yourself and imperfection in others.

If you go about your life thinking you are perfect then you are sadly mistaken. And I challenge you to embrace your flaws.

And so I looked in the mirror and for the first time in a very long time took a good look at my real face unmasked. Was it really that bad?

According to the Buddha one of the hardest things to do is to let go of the ego and let go of attachments. We must embrace ourselves for the true beings that we are. He called it the Middle Way.

In Discourses II Buddha says:

“Let me tell you about the middle path. Dressing in rough and dirty garments, letting your hair grow matted, abstaining from eating any meat or fish, does not cleanse the one who is deluded. Mortifying the flesh through excessive hardship does not lead to a triumph over the senses. All self-inflicted suffering is useless as long as the feeling of self is dominent.

You should lose your involvement with yourself and then eat and drink naturally, according to the needs of your body. Attachment to your appetites – whether you deprive or indulge them – can lead to slavery, but satisfying the needs of daily life is not wrong. Indeed, to keep a body in good health is a duty, for otherwise the mind will not stay strong and clear.”

Such powerful words to live by. All the good deeds in the world can not clear delusions of grander. We are all humans and we must accept ourselves as merely that. We are not kings, we are not vermin, we are just us- flaws and all.

And as I made my way out into the day I did not miss the make up on my face. Instead I enjoyed the feeling of the sun as it smiled down upon my face.

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” -The Buddha.

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