Living in Balance 

 Give your full attention

to the actions you perform. 

Remove from them the slightest imperfections 

and try to observe all conditions 

necessary to make them perfect.

One action done well 

is better than a thousand done half-heartedly.

Maxim of Love 14:4
Jean-Pierre Medaille, SJ

Sharing our stories...

“One action done well is better than a thousand done half-heartedly”. Ah, instead, why not “a thousand actions done whole-heartedly”? That was my style for years. One of my struggles has been a compulsion toward perfectionism, in everything I do.


Some of you may be familiar with this, especially if you come from the “1” space on the Enneagram, as I do. So how in the world then would this particular maxim have any personal meaning? In many ways, it would seem, at first brush, to support this compulsion and exacerbate my false self. 


I find it interesting that on the very day I share these words I received the following reflection in an email: “Today, see if you can be aware of your ‘excuse’ for not being Present. When I have achieved perfection, then I’ll show up.”


While vestiges of this ‘tendency’ remain, God’s grace has allowed me to move on to bask in a more balanced life approach. Yes, in some ways this Maxim should be the last one for me to reflect on. But as I ponder and reflect on this Maxim – “removing from my actions the slightest imperfections” along with another Maxim “Be receptive to the grace in the moment” (6:9) Medaille’s wisdom and light slowly become apparent.


Behind and because of this need for perfectionism lies my true giftedness. My giftedness and misuse of my gifts are inexorably intertwined; in some way, without ‘this need to be perfect’, my true giftedness is lost . . . Non-dualistic thinking personified – everything belongs.

Guy Brethour
Ottawa, ON, Canada


#2 mdickinson 2014-02-10 02:20
Thank you, Guy! I believe the action of LOVE, even when imperfect, fulfills all of the MAXIMS. For in love we find our true home -- one Source, one Centre, one GOD.
#1 arletteh 2014-02-08 15:35
"In some way, without this need to be perfect, my true giftedness is lost." A friend of mine has also said that when told " Don't try to be so perfect." I think we have an inner "mystic" eye within our soul that perceives the fullness of the beauty we are trying to create, and we cannot be satisfied until that beauty is brought forth in its fullness or perfection. Thank you, Guy. This brings peace. arletteh.

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