Tag Archives: Self-Compassion

DANCING WITH OUR IMPERFECTIONS

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”  Anna Quindlen

I’m a recovering perfectionist.  I say, “recovering,” because I still often find myself attached to wanting a creation of mine or my own action to be perfect and have trouble deciding when it is good enough to reveal to others.  Editing my own writing can become an endless task.  I can always find a better way to phrase a sentence or a more expressive word to use.

The Illness of Perfection

About fifteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I visited my doctor’s clinic where I interacted with a wide variety of health care professionals.  I saw nothing wrong with my perfectionism until, repeatedly, the people there, one by one, told me the same thing: “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”  I remember sitting in the therapist office with tears streaming down my face.  They were right.  I was just too exhausted to continue living this way.

What the people at this clinic gave me was permission to be imperfect, something I had been unable to do for myself.  With the fatigue I suffered at that time, I began to understand that it was impossible for me to do everything I thought I needed to do if I wanted to heal.  I had to learn to love myself and my imperfection.  Accepting my limitations became a spiritual practice, and as a result, I began to let go of other’s expectations of me.  It allowed me to become more of who I really was.

Living From the Soul Level

When we can strip away other’s expectations from our lives and clearly look at who we want to be, we begin the authentic spiritual journey.  All that we discover about ourselves will show us who we truly are.  By discovering at the soul level who we are, it becomes easier to identify our true calling in life, and living with that at the center of our lives, can bring us tremendous joy.

Spiritual teachings tell us that we are perfect just the way we are, but we have all come to this lifetime with certain issues to resolve.  We see the repetition of particular themes and judge ourselves as failures instead of seeing how each repetition offers us the opportunity to further solve the problems those themes create.  The earth is a school where we are able to grow and learn, and all these “problems” that arise are part of the curriculum.  Spirit, our teacher, does not judge us, it only guides us.

Blocks to Going Deeper

Many people live in denial, blaming others for negative experiences.  By being unwilling to go deeper and by choosing to feed the ego’s desire to be right, they shut themselves off from that spiritual core through which Spirit guides us.  Being unwilling to examine our lives and understand our own motivations creates an extremely limited life.

These patterns are often created in childhood.  Because my parents argued, I always tried to be the perfect child so I would not create more dissention.  I believed that I would be loved only if I were good enough. And so these patterns continued into adulthood, stunting me in ways I was unable to see until a powerful event pushed it in my face.

 Living from Our Spiritual Core

 When a powerful event occurs, we face the real test.  Are we willing to do the work we need to do in order to grow beyond our childhood neurosis?  Only when we are willing to find that spiritual core inside that guides us to a higher path will we be able to let go of these negative patterns that made us feel secure in some way.  In touch with our spiritual selves, we can find the security that will allow us to let go and move on. When we truly accept that we are spiritual beings, then we can accept that everything that comes into our lives is in Divine Order.

Accepting what is, without judgment, allows us to accept that all our imperfections are in Divine Order.  In fact, the irony is—we are already perfect.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                   ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:

Are you a recovering perfectionist – How to Address Spiritual Superiority

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

The Origins of Perfection

BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  What are you thankful for? If your life couldn’t be better, do you take the time each day to say “thanks?” If you’re having some challenges in life, can you look beyond them to see what is good?  If life is a disaster right now, are you willing to hunt for one simple thing to appreciate?  Maybe it’s the song of a bird or the smile of a stranger you meet on the street?  That one small thought of gratitude can change your life.

“It is impossible to be negative while we are giving thanks.” Donald Curtis

Gratitude As Daily Practice

Since I’ve incorporated expressing my gratitude into my daily life, I find that this always uplifts me regardless of the specific circumstances of the day.  Although I may go over my gratitude list during meditation, I have chosen to take it further than that.  At the moment when something good appears, I say “Thank you.”  The energy of those words seems to uplift the energy of the experience even further.

Creating a Positive From a Negative Experience

What is perhaps the most challenging for us all is to be thankful for the unpleasant experiences in life.  They come into our lives to help us learn lessons although we often only see what we learned in retrospect.  In the 1990s, I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I had probably had it for two years before I was diagnosed because I couldn’t remember when I hadn’t been exhausted.  Most doctors knew nothing about it or discounted its existence.  Fortunately, I was able to find a wonderful doctor through a friend who had it.

I had to radically change my life in terms of going to bed at 9:00 pm, eating only organic food, eating only certain food, taking dozens of supplements, and avoiding stress.  In order to afford the treatment, I had to continue teaching full-time.  Because I was exhausted all the time, this strict lifestyle seemed overwhelming at first, but it did heal me.  Many of the changes became a part of my life even after I healed and have made me very healthy.  I have none of the physical problems most people my age do and the ones I have are very minor and don’t limit my activity.

When we can learn something from a negative experience and can feel thankful for the lesson, it transforms our memory of the experience.  We can focus on what is good and let go of feeling like a victim.  We can be grateful that what we have learned from the challenge makes us healthier or happier or more competent or more loving.

Gratitude Uplifts Us

Do I wish I had not had to go through this experience to learn how to be healthier?  Of course I do, but that’s not the point.  Like so many things in life, we do the best we can until we learn better.  That’s why I’m grateful for the journey.  I know that if I stay open, I will continue to learn and that always improves the quality of my life.

On this Thanksgiving holiday, may you be blessed by the gratitude you give and receive.  May your spiritual journey enrich your life.  From all the lessons you’ve learned, what is the lesson you are most grateful for?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Seven Practical Steps to Turn Around a Bad Experience, How to Raise Your Vibrational Frequency

AWAKENING TO THE PEACE AND WHOLENESS BEYOND FEAR

Release Fear and Awaken to the Dance

Beneath every negative emotion is fear.

Every psychological fear blocks us in some way from receiving the guidance we need to find peace and know the best action to take.  Without fear, we can stop saying, “What’s wrong with me?” and begin to say, “What can I learn from this experience?”  Self-judgment has no value.  Without it, we can reflect on a situation and gain insight and inspiration.

We all have moments when we feel we are not good enough or have handled a situation badly.  Our inner critic recites the long list of our deficiencies, blaming us for every experience that did not manifest in the way we wished.  We may be, in fact, very compassionate in our interactions with others, but forget to offer ourselves the same kind of consideration.  To awaken to the dance of life completely, we must have this compassion for ourselves.

Wholeness, the Gift of Accepting Who We Are

One of the most profound ideas I have ever read comes from Oneness by Rasha.  “Those moments when you judge yourself most harshly and in which you feel you let yourself down are the moments most deeply yearned for as a soul.  For, in the moments you look back upon with regret—the ones that conjure up within you the most profound humiliation in your own eyes—are the moments for which you chose a human incarnation.” (p. 237)  “And in your embracing of all that you Are—and in your acceptance of all that you are not…is the unconditional gift of wholeness that awaits you.”(p. 238)

We do not have to be perfect to be whole. If we had reached a level of consciousness where we no longer needed to learn lessons, we would not be on this earthly plain. It is our ego’s pain and feeling of lack that feeds the fear that we are not good enough. Through the fears that surface, we glimpse the shadow, that darker side of our unconscious, and we are able to see the issues we need to address.

How To Release Self-Judgment

Last week I tried to communicate with a friend by email.  It was clear he had misunderstood something I said and he seemed to be avoiding the issue.  I was frustrated, thinking, “What have I done wrong here?” After pacing the floor a bit, I released my fear that I had offended him and asked, “How can I best bring peace to this situation?”  I felt calmer, and in a moment, a positive, light energy rose in my body, and I knew I needed to call him and arrange to talk face to face.  When I called, he eagerly suggested we meet for lunch.  As a result, we had a wonderful, open talk and parted with peaceful feelings toward one another.

When we find ourselves in these self-critical modes, we need to look beneath the surface issue and ask, “What is it I fear?”  Then, we need to release the fear, so that our minds are not busy coping with the fear.  Once we have released the fear, the mind feels clear and we can ask, “What is the best way to solve this problem?” or “How can I create peace out of this discord?”

When we do this, we shine light on our darkness.  We become open to identifying the lesson we need to learn.  Inner guidance will appear to guide us in the best direction.  Free of fear, we are able to let go of self-judgment.

 Finding Inner Peace Beneath the Fear

Evaluating and revising is a helpful learning process.  We all have to explore and experiment in order to learn.  Sometimes we will find the right answer; sometimes we won’t, but being afraid to try a new approach blocks our ability to learn.  With these fears released, we can find solutions and awaken to the peace that lies beneath our fears.  When we are able to accept all these parts of ourselves, we will experience wholeness.

What fears do you need to release?  How do you find peace?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

If you are interested in my upcoming “Release Your Fear” workshop on September 18 when I teach a specific technique for releasing your fear, see my Workshop page.  Advanced registration is not required.  All are welcome.

Related Articles:  Spiritual Practices: Shadow, Shadow Exercises