You are perfect and complete.

This has happened to me twice now, so I need to share it. The first time was with a Christian missionary in Kansas City. The second time, exactly like the first, was with a Hare Krisha devotee in St. Augustine. I like the second version better.

Giorgio (like Giorgio Armani, he said. I met him once, in Rome, he said.) approached me on the street and told me I should consider being a Hare Krishna devotee (there is a longer story here, I’ll tell it soon). I towered over him, which is unusual for me. The teeth he still had were the color of corn. He was wearing the kind of baseball hat you see tribal natives wear on national geographic. He said I had the “devotee” look about me. I took his pamphlet and listened to him talk about being “really” Italian, not like those guys in New York, he said.

Eventually he popped the question. He said, you know I’m a healer. I once healed a woman with stage 4, terminal cancer, he said. She had days to live, and I prayed over her, then she was better. How can you explain that, he asked.

I’ve heard this before, I know where he’s going.

I could pray over you, completely restore you, he said. That’s when I cut him off.

I earned this eye patch. I love my scars. You can’t buy body modifications like this. These are like tattoos from god.

If I could go back through time, I would push my cute, little, seven-year-old self right under that truck tire all over again. I’d leave my shattered skull and cheek bones ground into the dirt of my drive way. I’d retrace my steps as a child through suicidal depression, through the private hell of not having the guts to off myself when I was eight, even though I desperately wanted to. I’d trace those steps straight back out into the light of perspective. I’d dive again into deep well of compassion, empathy, and self-knowledge that I had to cultivate and draw on to come out the other side.

My scars represent all that to me, and I wouldn’t want them any other way. My scars are perfect, my vision is perfect, if different.

Contentment is something you choose, not something you obtain. Chase dreams, by all means. If you don’t match yourself, then strive if you want. But don’t chase faith healers because you think you need a magic nose job to make yourself happy. Look at that picture above and ask yourself: is that the picture of someone who needs a miracle? Plastic surgery?

Or is it of someone who is perfect and complete in himself?