Daily Zen

Letting Go Of Perfectionism

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Trying to meticulously live your life according to “the best way,” “the right way,” or the spiritual high way… is the fastest way to get stuck in life. It’s also the fast track to misery.

Why? Perfectionism is a form of micromanaging that loses sight of the overall vision. Why are you even doing anything in the first place? Are you here to actually enjoy your life or… get tied up in unfulfilling, pointless details?

Perfectionism, purity, clean health and diet, associating with only successful people… imperatives might seem to be a way to control reality, avoid pain, and make people like you. But it actually takes you out of flow with reality, or puts you in resistance to reality; and that misalignment is where all suffering occurs.

Eating disorders are one example of what happens when we try to change, resist, or control reality. The reality is that nutrient deficiencies and imbalances can lead to unhealthy weight loss, health issues, and even unintended weight gain. An artificial, controlled, or overly disciplined attempt to be healthy or pure, or at least appear that way, often takes us down a problematic path, possibly resulting in the opposite of our intentions.

Perfectionism has its roots in religious spirituality, or misunderstood esoteric truths, as it relates to the concept of holiness.

There is something called Perfect and it resides within us all. Some have called it our life force energy, or the unified field of energy consciousness. Some have called it God or God Self or the True Self. It’s basically your core, authentic essence from which the entire universe exists in your field of consciousness.

There’s a time to forget about, or appear to separate from our Core Self so we can experience what it’s like in human form where objects and beings appear separate. This allows space for the human experience as we know it.

So, the Perfect incarnates into the realm of ‘imperfection’ where we can make all kinds of glorious ignorant mistakes, feel pain, and experience love. This imperfect, dark and evil (ignorant), limited… inverse consciousness provides a sort of playground to experience our existence.

As our awareness disconnects from our perfect true self, we naturally find ourselves missing Home, our true self. So, we look for artificial ways to fill in the missing Piece. Enter perfectionism. We can make something look perfect, such as a personal photo, or a school essay, or our happy family. But we aren’t actually experiencing the bliss of Perfect. Because it’s a false or illusory appearance.

We eventually figure out that nothing can really satisfy us in the realm of human appearances, no matter how hard we try, because it’s missing the deeper, more fulfilling and authentic substance – the True Self.

Still, our empty material experiences provide a way to experience our existence on a deeper level. We have to go to the illusory realm in order to experience our real self and our very real existence more fully. We need a playground with which to express ourself through a myriad of creative mistakes. On this playground, anything can happen as we drift further and further away from our own Soul and natural intelligence, until we start waking up from the dream – or nightmare.

In the Christian Bible, Jesus is purported to tell a parable called ‘The Prodigal Son.’ This is an esoteric allegory of leaving Home, our True Self, to experience ignorance, life mistakes, toxic food and entertainment, empty sex, romance, and relationships, as well as inevitable pain and suffering… in human form.

There’s a celebration when the Prodigal Son returns Home because now he is back to his True Self – the Father/Provider metaphor – and the substance, rather than the shallow, empty pleasures (illusory realm) of his existence. The older son is quite sour about the celebration for his younger brother because he never strayed from his True Self. But through life mistakes, the younger brother gained a deeper experience of his own existence.

This is the value of making mistakes, even grave mistakes – and even the mistake of perfectionism. Mistakes allow you to more fully and deeply experience your existence. They also keep you humble so you can authentically connect with life and with other people. Fully accepting the fact of and imperative of mistakes allows you to reconnect with your own Soul and genuinely enjoy your life, mistakes included.

When you harmonize your Perfect with your Imperfect, your light with your darkness, the Yin and Yang… now you are in harmony with the full or more real reality, also known as Nirvana.

Without making ignorant mistakes, there can be no true experience of your true essence and true bliss – which can only come from true experience.