Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Guilt & Perfectionism (Don't be put off - there's a quiz AND a prayer)

I'm going to start this blog with a couple of questions. Bear with me. I only need Yes or No answers (phew).

Do you:

- Compare yourself to others and assume others are finding things easier, more fun, more straightforward than you are? (This includes spying on people's Facebook albums and making yourself very depressed at how happy they always seem to look, how calm their children are, how great their golf swing looks, how many times a month they go on tropical holidays, how tidy their house is....)

- Read books hoping to improve yourself and find better ways to do everything?

- Not speak about these things because you feel ashamed?

- Sometimes feel you are not coping that well but find it hard to ask for help, advice or support?

- Give yourself a hard time at the end of the day, or after you behave in a way you find unacceptable?

- Get angry with people close to you, especially when they don't do things just the way you want them to?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you are probably one of billions of other humans suffering from the Guilt & Perfectionism pattern. Don't worry, there are three bits of good news for you right here.

Bit of Good News Number 1: Discovering you are stuck in a pattern is the first step to releasing it. Yessss. 

Bit of Good News Number 2: If you start saying the very easy, quick prayer at the end of this blog each night, things will start to get easier.

Bit of Good News Number 3: The truth of who you are has this totally handled. You've just forgotten that and it's so easy to remember it again.

If you answered No to all of these questions, you are probably a cat. In which case, well done for reading this far. 

All the Yes People, read on... (it's better than staring at other people's facebook albums anyway...)

Here's the comforting bit:

The essence of us - the Truth about who we really are has everything we need. Always.

But we forget this and we start trying to make our own plans and come up with our own ways of doing things. 

We all do this. There is no problem with it, until we get to a stage where we are tired, unhappy and ready to start inviting our essence back into the picture. 

And here is what I think the biggest problem we face these days is: the Guilt-Perfectionism cycle. It seems to be that this is a particularly big issue when we have children and it is part of the reason why I feel called to connect with fellow parents. This is my thing and I am finding a way through it. And I really want to help others find freedom from it too.

And here's what we all do (it's quite simple and yet makes things very complicated):

We set up a way we should be (that'll be the Perfectionism) and then we don't live up to our own standards (cue the Guilt).

This is a really painful cycle that so many of us are trapped in.

And here's the way through to a happier, more gentle place:


Once you accept yourself right where you are in all your perceived imperfection, struggles and failings, miraculously you start getting your energy back to give yourself to your life and the people around you in new ways. (And you will find it easier to ease up on them too!) And you get to make friends with yourself and go easy on yourself. Yesssss again.

The thing that doesn't work is having an idealised version of yourself who is doing everything perfectly - and spending your energy on looking at where you don't meet up to this idealised self.

Self-acceptance is a shortcut to connecting with our essence - that essential, unchangeable heart at our core - the place where all is well, where all the answers lie and where we are completely loved and perfect and whole.

And here's a short, simple way to start going about it: 

At the end of the day, do these two things:

1. Write a totally honest list about all your perceived failings, shortcomings and could-have-done-better moments. Keep writing until you have it all out on the page. Include even the smallest things. If it helps, repeat this phrase and keep completing it: 'I should have....'

2. Take a moment to sit with your list of complaints about yourself. And then say out loud: 

"I did my best today. I now let go of anything I think I should have done differently or better. I accept myself as I am. Thank you, {True Self/God/Angels/Universe}, for revealing more of your colours and flavours to me and in me as I learn to get out of my own way. I am doing so well. Tomorrow is another day and I choose to let all of this go and I know I will wake refreshed and ready to start again."

(And remember, this prayer is an invitation. Don't worry if you don't feel you are able to say it honestly from your current perspective. It will start to work because your essence will respond despite your thoughts and doubts.)

And then repeat as necessary and watch the magic unfold!! (And if you get stuck, don't give yourself a hard time about it, just ask for some help!!)

And here's a gift for you to give yourself:

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