The spiritual gurus over the years have always insisted that we are perfect just the way we are. That may well be the case, and I imagine it is exactly how they see it for us, due to their enlightened stand point. For the majority of people, however, the world and the people in it, certainly don’t appear perfect, and that includes those of us that have spent many years working on personally developing ourselves.
I’m sure if there were a way to measure how many people have conscientiously tried to change a negative pattern, at least 3 times in their adult life, we’d be looking at a very high percentage, and 3 times is a very conservative estimate. I imagine most people think about radically changing something in their life at least 2 times a year if not much more.
What I feel is unfortunate nowadays, is that the information age we live in, is continuously bombarding us with messages; that we are no where near perfect, and that for life to get better we should be, do or have X,Y and Z, for that to happen. We see perfect bodies everywhere, muscles, six packs, perfect hair, nails, skin, legs, feet, arms etc etc. We see beautiful homes, cars, boats and a vast amount of accessories to help everything from peeling an orange to the most cutting edge technology, and on and on it goes.
Everywhere we look, we are seeing an image or a video that implies overtly, that we are just not good enough the way we are, but we would be better if we look like this, or accomplish that, or accumulate this, or date and marry that particular type of person.
People spend years and years of their life trying to fulfil those illusionary demands, believing life will be sorted if only….
Of course, there is merit to attaining more money and having more choice, just as there is also great health benefits in getting your body in shape, not to mention the boost in confidence. I’m in no way suggesting, that because of the way companies market to us, that we should drop all desire to change, no not at all. I believe we are here to be creative beings and continuously work toward expansion, which of course, if undertaken, would always manifest as change.
What I feel is important as a first step toward transformation, however, is to authentically get to acceptance around where you are, whilst still holding a firm intention to change. The reason the spiritual gurus say that you are perfect just the way you are, I believe, is because in actual fact, if you were to look at your life in this very moment, it couldn’t actually be different than it is, otherwise it would be. Yes I know that’s very easy to say, and yet it really is the truth. Life is perfect as it is because it is what it is. Now please don’t misinterpret me here - when I say it’s perfect because it’s the way it is, does not, in anyway mean that I’m condoning obvious acts of atrocity. What I mean, and what I believe the gurus are meaning, is that it is this, therefore it couldn’t be another way until it is another way.
So if you were to look at your own life; at this very moment that you’re reading this sentence, you could absolutely say, that your life is supposed to be this way right now, simply because it is this way. Now I know you may wish it was different, but the overwhelming truth, is that it is the way it is right now. One of the major obstacles for many people, when they set out to change something in their life, is that they are carrying tremendous judgement about them self.
Yes you could argue, that without the self-criticism, there would be no desire to change, but I don’t believe self-criticism, in anyway assists us to change. I believe we aways know inherently and wholeheartedly, that we need to change something. We know if we need to lose weight, be more pro-active, stop watching too much TV, change jobs, start a new hobby, change location, leave a relationship. We absolutely know what needs to change, so to then criticise ourself because we're not how we’d like to be, would be futile; as it only helps to depress our state, rather than motivate, and a depressed person will rarely take action.
So a very important and necessary part of the transformational process is to stop the self-judgement and begin to learn what it means to love yourself, which isn’t as easy as it sounds, so allow me to expound. The obvious explanation of course, is that we need to love everything that we are, but how easy is that really?
I remember attending my first ever seminar on personal development at the age of 27 in Sydney, Australia, and the speaker had 9 axioms for us to digest. One of them was that we needed to love ourself, and he spent some time illustrating how difficult a task it actually is to love ones self. I remember thinking, “what’s he talking about? I love myself already!” At the time I was smoking on average 20 cigarettes a day, and consuming massive amounts of alcohol at weekends, not to mention the incredible poor self image I was holding. I simply had no idea what it meant to love myself, but my ego was large, and, in retrospect, had to be to protect me from seeing the huge amount of work that lay ahead.
The main point to embrace when making a choice to love yourself, is that you have to find all the dark stuff within yourself, all the stuff you don’t like about yourself and then love it whole-heartedly. It’s not an easy task of course because, you’ve held the opposite view about yourself for so many years, but it is something that you must put effort into.
A caveat to the concept of loving self, is that loving yourself and getting to acceptance about all aspects of yourself, doesn’t mean that you will then just stay as you are forever, without the self-judgement. No not at all, it means that you will get to a place within; that has been flat-lined emotionally, meaning that there’s no conflicting energies within you anymore. When you are in judgement of yourself, there is always a fight within you, that you should be this, that or the other. Once you’ve gotten to the absolute acceptance that, at this particular time in life, it is the way it is, and you are the way you are, and everything is ok as it is now, you can then create change.
When your emotional body is flatlined, the change can happen with much more ease because, your attention is not being drawn inward, via the conflicting energies anymore. So what happens is that you can then see with much more clarity what needs to happen next. It’s less likely that you’ll criticise yourself or blame the outer world and situation.
I’ve written a detailed explanation on how to balance your emotional states with ease here.
This, however is just the first step to real transformation, there are 2 more steps that are so incredibly important.
Part 2 here
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