“The need to be Perfect comes from the belief that one is Imperfect.”
Defining A Perfectionist
The ideas of right and wrong is the game that all perfectionists play.
We all carry ideas of right and wrong so we are all perfectionists to a degree.
A true perfectionist however is one who has become attached to specific Ideas about what is Right and what is Wrong.
This article is more about addressing the Suffering states of Mind when one has become attached to these Ideas. There is nothing wrong with having preferences in life but the Suffering State of Mind must be addressed if one wishes to develop greater happiness in life.
Perfectionist In Depth
It is natural that we all have our own ideas of right and wrong because we are all unique individuals with different personalities and outlooks on life.
However, when we become attached to the Ideas of right and wrong, we can begin to Reject and React negatively to people who are different to us. When we experience these negativities within it can make us fall into an unnatural state of thinking that it is not natural for people to have their own ideas because only certain ideas can be right and wrong.
Thus when one is attached to these ideas it becomes difficult to accept one another for having different ideas. It is only when the attachment to these ideas are released that then we can build healthier and happier relationships with ourselves and each other.
Importance Of Addressing Being A Perfectionist
Being a Perfectionist can limit one's creativity greatly because there will be a fear of not being “perfect” when one is attached to such Ideas and this can impede the flow of creativity within thus it can also greatly affect one's ability to express oneself. In extreme cases, the memory would also be affected as the mind which is in a state of continual rejection would find it hard to keep and hold onto mundane, simple and boring stuffs which happen throughout the day. The mind may even distort reality and imagine things that are not even there.
A perfectionist may also find oneself dwelling in the state of intellectualising whether or not they are living the right way. The Ideas of Perfection thus can exacerbate the state of self-doubt if one lacks Self-Belief.
In terms of relationships, one can also be driven to associate themselves with only people that they find "worthy."
It can also create a fear of being judged thus pushing the Self to put a lot of effort into one's appearance or talent.
Ideas of Perfection can also over-stimulate the mind through imagining a better "more perfect" reality.
This can create a very ungrounded state which can cause a variety of health problems because when one's root is not firmly planted then one is no longer connected with the earth and reality.
As one releases oneself out of the Ideas of perfection one will find more space in the mind to think and express The Self as is than constantly being in the thought of thinking what one should be.
Path Of Creator
Perfectionist In Relation To The Path Of Creator
Right and Wrong are just ideas which are ever-changing as its definition will differ from mind to mind.
However with attachment these these ideas can be taken to the extreme and the Suffering States of Mind can be experienced.
We are all perfectionists to a degree, and when we become attached to the Ideas of Perfection it can drive us to control and impose our ideas of right and wrong on people and things around us.
The Path begins with the understanding that right and wrong are just ideas which are unique to each different mind. On the level of personality there is no such thing as absolute truth as these Truths are distorted and always changing.
This particular Truth can be very unsettling to all Perfectionists as they would find this fact difficult to accept.
At the level of the soul, the Truth about Happiness is about the amount of Self-Acceptance one has within rather than the amount of “Perfect Things, Perfect Ideas, Perfect personality / appearance and so forth one has
Thus realize that the road of Perfection and the Road to Happiness are two very different roads – the former will take one down on the road of Self-Rejection i.e Rejecting The parts of the Self which is not Perfect thus it is a path full of Suffering and the latter is about Accepting all parts of the Self as Perfect.
The journey thus is about letting go of our ideas of right and wrong, but not in the sense that we eventually lose ourselves, but rather to release the outer shell which is the Personality so that we can find the Deeper Self within. And this is done through the State of Acceptance rather than the state of Rejection.
The journey that one takes within to address the issues of Perfection will be challenging; filled with darkness and confusion, of figuring out just which part of ourselves is a true reflection of our soul. To alleviate this confusion, simply focus on walking forwards on the Path and this is done through the practice of Two-Way acceptance, which is the practice of directing acceptance not only at oneself but also at the other selves.
Ultimately we will be able to reach a state where we can accept other people's opinions and our own opinions.
Releasing The Fears
The Ideas of "what is perfect" and "what is not perfect" will promote the creation of fears in the consciousness. This is because when we are declaring in our minds that only certain possibilities of The Self are worthy to be loved, for instance, a type of appearance, a type of humour, a certain style of clothing, a particular reputation and so forth we will create the fear that other people may not accept us if we become the Selves that we cannot accept.
Thus what we judge others will always create the fear of being judged in the same way. For instance, when we declare to our mind that only funny people are worthy to be accepted, we will fear being rejected if we are not funny.
Eventually the journey will take us to understand that the need to be perfect comes from the idea that the Self is imperfect as is. All Sufferings will always recede back to one root cause which is the lack of Self-Acceptance.
Boredom In Relation To The Self
As we develop the Knowing of The Self what we will realize is that the boring parts in which we cannot Accept in life will always reflect back to the part in which we cannot accept about ourselves.
For example, if we experience boredom from listening to a "boring" speaker up on a stage, this will always reflect back to what we would find boring in ourselves i.e. "I would never accept myself if I performed like her"
To find the spiritual lessons behind such experience one can simply ask,
"Why can I not be like him/her?"
"What is preventing me from accepting him/her?"
"What is preventing me from accepting that part in myself?"
There are many ways to develop the Acceptance of The Self in relation to this. One can catalyze the process by simply going up a stage and deliver a "boring" speech to an audience and try to accept the Present Self as is.
At The Idea Level
Let us look at some of the Negative Ideas that can promote the Ideas of Perfection within the consciousness.
A Possible Negative Mental Declaration
"It is not ok to not to be the best"
--->I reject myself and others when I am/they not the best
= There will be fear when I appear not the best because it is not ok.
The following is the positive declaration.
"It is ok to not to be the best"
--->I accept myself and others when I am/they are not the best
= There will be acceptance when I am not the best because it is ok.
For the mind which carries the negative declaration, the person will tend to judge critically at oneself and others when one underperforms or do not deliver an "outstanding" performance of oneself. This can create a lot of negative emotions directed at the self such as judgement, guilt and regret.
The transition towards the positive declaration begins when one encounters enough experiences to realize that such ideas is not worth holding because all it does is bring suffering.
For the mind which carries the positive declaration is a person who has reached a state of internal and external acceptance. Here one no longer tries to be the best out of fear of not being perfect, but rather out of love of themselves no matter if they perform well or not. The state of mind when one tries to improve is no longer one of criticism but one of encouragement.
The path is balanced through moving also towards the opposite declaration
"It is ok to be the best"
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Every time you find yourself pushing yourself to do better, to improve, to achieve some goals and so forth, question yourself,
“Am I doing this out of Fear that I am not good enough?”
“Am I doing this out of Love of wanting to grow more?”
If you can let go of the Ideas of improvement then there will be Negative Ideas which will need to be addressed from within. To test whether or not there is attachment, one can test if ceasing the activities of improving oneself will create any Sufferings from within. If it does, then there are internal issues to be addressed.
The Creator's MeditationLink here
Every time you find yourself criticising yourself that you are not “meditating” perfectly or you have done something “Wrong” in the meditation, do your best to simply forgive yourself and move on.
Through the practice you will be able to develop the power to release the suffering attachments towards the Ideas of Right and Wrong in not only the practice but also in everyday life.
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