I am, as many of us are, abundantly aware of how imperfect I am.
The concept that we are “perfect and whole” already and that life comes to us perfectly delivered was brought up at Mark Whitwell’s workshop at Gilbert Yoga a few weeks ago. It hit a nerve with me and has sent me on a path of radically changing my thoughts about myself.
My initial reaction was, “That’s a great philosophy, but that won’t work for me until I fix a few things.” I am, as many of us are, abundantly aware of how imperfect I am. (And in case I forget, there are always my children to remind me of it… which they did just today as we drove to church camp with their mandatory t-shirts hanging out the windows to dry, because Mom forgot to change the laundry. They slunk down in the seats so no one saw them!)
If I am so “perfect and whole,” why do I not speak up when I need to, why do I yell at my kids, why am I fearful of having fun and taking time for myself, and why do I create pretend conversations in my head that will never happen, justifying myself to imaginary foes? (For you chakra fans, have fun noticing those imbalances!)
Those things wouldn’t happen if I were “perfect and whole.” I were “perfect and whole,” I would be free from limiting habits and patterns; I would be fearless, compassionate, and only see connection rather than separation with everyone and everything. I would be free from jealousy, judgment and competitive feelings.
I would be able to let go of perfectionism (ironic, isn’t it?), let go of the fear of making mistakes, and my issues with food would not control me. So, it was really hard for me to sit with this idea and accept that I am “perfect and whole” right now.
Mark Whitwell states, “The models of human perfection given to us by culture inherently deny the perfection which is already in you, as you, as your heartbeat and breath and sex, as life itself.” What I consider ideal and how I wish to be so I may no longer see myself as flawed is a model of human perfection I have subscribed to from an outside source—from culture. Even though my standards are derived from what I have learned through my study of yoga, meditation and philosophy, there is still an outside standard set by others that I am trying to live up to.
Trying to live up to those standards is hard and painful, and often I feel like a failure and a fraud. Mark says, “The human mind has made us all globally and personally miserable.” When we, as humans, find out that life is full of suffering, we add shame and its resulting low self-esteem to the mix. No wonder we are “miserable”! The shame of being in pain and suffering leads to conditional self-love. I cannot love myself until I (fill in the blank here with your chosen issue).
I can’t be “perfect” because there is so damn much wrong with me!
So, I sat with it. Over and over, I tried to talk myself out of it. I deleted half of this writing because I wrote it right after the workshop, when I was sure it was not going to work for me. Yet, as I have thought about it, this sort of peace has started to come over me. I have come to the realization that we all have the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the parent and the child, the happy and the sad, the kind and the hurtful, the jealous and the boastful, the brave and the fearful within us. We are made up of these juxtapositions, these opposites—all of which make us perfectly imperfect. All of those things make us “whole”.
So, dear friend, yes, you are whole and perfect. So am I. And so is everyone else that you encounter in your life. We may have “stuff” we are working on, patterns and habits to free ourselves from, behaviors to change, but deep down inside each one of us is this place of wholeness, a place where we are all alike and where we are all perfect.
Joy Fichiera is a football mama, yoga teacher, reiki healer, chakra fanatic. She is fascinated by the chakras and how they manifest in our modern lives and in our children. To learn more about the chakras in your life, go to joyfichiera.com.
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- Assistant Editor: Moira Madden
- Ed: Bryonie Wise