Make Peace with imperfections

Dr. Richard Carlson's advice to the 'Perfectionists':

"Perfectionists do not have lives filled with inner peace. 
The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility conflict with each other.

Whenever we are attached to having something a certain way, better than it already is, we are engaged in a losing battle. Rather than being content and grateful for what we have, we are focused on what's wrong with something and our need to fix it. When we are zeroed in on what's wrong, it implies that we are dissatisfied, discontented.

Whether it's related to ourselves a disorganized closet, a scratch on the car, an imperfect accomplishment, a few pounds we would like to lose or some one else's 'imperfections' the way someone looks, behaves, or lives his/her life the very act of focusing on imperfection pulls us away from our goal of  being kind and gentle. This strategy has nothing to do with ceasing to do your very best but with being overly attached and focused on what's wrong with your life. It's about revealing that while there's always a better way to do something, this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.

The solution here is to catch yourself when you fall into your habit of insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine. As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you'll begin to discover the perfection in life itself."

Dr. Carlson's reference to 'perfectionists' reminds one of the story of  Procrusteus in Greek mythology. He seized weary travelers, tied them to a bedstead, and either stretched them or cut off parts of their body to make them fit in his bed! 
He had this rigid rule: :If you do not fit right in my bed, you shall be sized to fit! Substitute 'mind' for 'bed' and you get the perfectionist.

The dictionary-meaning for the word "Procrustean" is: 'acting to secure conformity at any cost; drastic or ruthless."  
Many perfectionists, lacking in sensitivity, act in the Procrustean mode and corrupt a relationship through a judgmental attitude about the other person in the relationship. 
Most are not even aware that they are guilty of this act and will not accept that they are the cause for the resulting pain. They may profit much by Lao Tsu's advice on yielding:

Yield, that you may not break. 
Bent, you may straighten.  
Emptied, you may hold.

By the term 'yielding',  Lao Tzu is not suggesting a compromise with evil or a surrender in the struggle for justice. He is merely emphasizing upon the need for a change in one's attitude of mind;  this change will happen once there is an acceptance that others may not  and need not conform to one's own perceptions and standards. Insistence that they should, will lead to disappointment and consequent deterioration in relationships. As Saint Purandara Dasa has aptly stated: 
"the more your expectations, the more your disappointments." 
(Aashaigal yeshtto niraashaigal inneshtto -- Kannada)

The bending due to such an yielding attitude of the mind enables us to straighten later, when the burden of negative feelings created in us by our own rigidity have dropped off.

Emptied, the mind becomes receptive to a holistic perception of the world in which we live and will lead us to find harmony, peace and joy in our lives.
Back

Read also: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/bregman/2009/09/how-to-escape-perfectionism.html 
Extract:

"Perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them. At the beginning, it's they who aren't ready. At the end, it's their product that's not. So either they don't start the screenplay or it sits in their drawer for ten years because they don't want to show it to anyone.

But the world doesn't reward perfection. It rewards productivity. And productivity can only be achieved through imperfection. Make a decision. Follow through. Learn from the outcome. Repeat over and over and over again. It's the scientific method of trial and error. Only by wading through the imperfect can we begin to achieve glimpses of the perfect.

So how do we escape perfectionism? I have three ideas:" for details, see:  http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/bregman/2009/09/how-to-escape-perfectionism.html  

6a. In particular, married partners may consider the following advice of Kahlil Gibran:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart:

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.