Perfection is not Always Pleasant

It’s important to embrace the shadow side of life

In 1995, Garry Pascoe was cutting his lawn on a ride-on mower (of the kind typically found in rural New Zealand). Riding over a particularly difficult patch of terrain, he went to put the machine in reverse. When it refused to budge, Garry looked down to discover his two-year-old daughter, Sophie, was caught under the blades of the mower.

Sophie spent six hours in surgery that day, and returned home with her right leg badly mangled, and her left leg amputated just below the knee.

In 2016, twenty-three year old Sophie Pascoe swam for New Zealand at the Rio Paralympics, winning three gold medals and two silver. This was the third time Sophie had represented New Zealand at a Paralympics and, by the conclusion of the games, her career tally of nine Paralympic gold medals, six silver Paralympic medals and five World Records had earned Sophie the title of New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian, ever.

On her return to New Zealand, amid the accolades, honors and sponsorship deals that followed, Sophie shared the story of her accident for the very first time. Her message to the nation: “To this day I believe [the accident] is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

It is fair to say, I think, that most of us strive to create some form of ‘perfect life’. The trouble is, we have come to limit our idea of perfection to include only those things that feel pleasant to us; that align with our expectations and ideals. Because of this, we will often avoid or resist life when it appears to deliver events that are unfair, unwanted or unpleasant.

We recoil from these “imperfections” of life, because we have been taught to believe they have nothing to offer us.

But we do have the choice to see things differently.

The answer to a contented and fulfilled life is not to mitigate or avoid unpleasant situations. It is to recognize the perfection contained in these moments and the power that every situation has to propel us toward, and into, the greatest possible version of ourselves.

Just like Sophie did.


Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.