As individuals, we are so much harder on ourselves than any other person ever could be. I am astounded at the harsh words I can speak to myself and just how high I have set the bar on what is expected of me…. it seems, from me. Who am I comparing myself to? Who is asking these impossible feats of me? When did perfection become such a regular word in my vocabulary? All these questions are deserving of careful consideration…
Contrary to moving away from conformity and the voices of those whose words I believed in the past – it seems I have an incredible ability to carry these voices with me. They have travelled with me, playing as a silent but constant record in the background of my life – long after the events and people have left my reality.
I have caught myself in the very act of self judgement many times over. Judgement for any behaviour or thought falling outside of the parameters of what I deem to be acceptable. It seems I have given myself no leeway for mistakes or simple human error – for this is what I am, human – with all the trappings and emotions that go with this. Indeed, this is after all what we are here for, to experience what it is to be human, to enjoy the beauty and joy that is life and to learn from mistakes made with the intention to evolve and grow from these experiences.
I have the ability to speak to myself in a way that I would not dream of speaking to another. Is this practising loving kindness? It absolutely is not. There is a compassion that must be cultivated for ourselves, by ourselves, if we are to blossom, grow and move out of pattern behaviour. This compassion allows us room to grow, the space to simply be, as and who we are, without labelling ourselves bad and wrong and somehow defective. This compassion will allow us to escape the confines and walls we have built around ourselves and the distorted view of who we have believed ourselves to be. Perfection, or at least what we can believe to be perfection, just does not exist.
I have been sitting with all of this after encountering a particularly challenging situation this week where I moved into a level of reaction which was not altogether comfortable for me and certainly did not fit into my idea of living spiritually. I witnessed myself move through this reaction and straight into a place of negative self talk, which is indeed a form of violence to oneself, which also did not sit comfortably with me. After taking some time for reflection, and therefore creating the space and distance between myself and the experience, I allowed the gift of choice to flow in. Do I choose to stay in a place of negativity and self blame or do I choose to practice loving kindness and acceptance for all the parts that make up who I am? Gratefully, I chose love, love for myself and for another and within this choice there was the space to move out of self blame and negativity and view the situation through entirely new eyes, allowing me to show up differently and come to a place of peace – for the situation and within myself.
I believe that we are never given more than we can handle and that every situation, person and experience, be it good or bad, comes to us as an opportunity to grow ourselves stronger and wiser and I absolutely know that these experiences and indeed life, flow with greater ease when we allow love to sit in the driver’s seat. I allow myself the space for human error, I allow myself to sometimes get it ‘wrong’ and I allow myself the choice to show up differently so I may create a wonderful reality, a reality that is more in alignment with who I know myself to be.
I may not be perfect, but I am most definitely imperfectly perfect and that, is good enough for me!