Many people wish for a perfect life. But the wise person knows that everything is already perfect because perfection is just a mental construct. Each person may have a different idea about what perfection means to them, but it is never more than a projection of one’s own conditioning. More on how to see beauty all around us in this video.
If perfection is in the eye of the beholder, then who is to judge what perfection is. Surely the ideal perfect person according to Gandhi would not be the ideal perfect person according to Hitler. Surely Martin Luther King Jr. and Osama Bin Laden had differing views about what perfection looks like.
While our situations may not resemble such extreme polar opposites as these four men, we can still see in our own lives how we are adopting standards of perfection that do not really exist at all. And that may not even suit us.
Most of us have grown up with parents that, even the best of them, can express frustration and anger to their children for doing very normal child stuff. Kids break stuff, spill stuff, and they can do very frustrating things. When parents — or even teachers or adult figures — show anger, kids begin to internalize feelings of shame and failure. If we don’t unlearn those feelings of shame and guilt, we’ll become our own biggest sources of self-criticism and self-judgment as we grow older.
The biggest key when dealing with our own regrets and mistakes is to remember how normal and human they are. There is no mistake too big that we should be ashamed of or that cannot be overcome. There is likely no mistake any of us has made that hasn’t been made a million other times. The bigger the mistake, the bigger the lesson that we needed to learn.
Try your best to find the lesson, it’s always there. Thank the universe for teaching you these lessons. Be grateful for the wisdom you have today, not angry for what you didn’t know yesterday. There is a reservoir of deep and abiding peace always available to all of us right here and right now. Here’s how we can tap into that peace within.
There can be pain in the present moment, but suffering can only happen in the mind as a response to some situation that happened in the past. Because there is always a space between an experience and our mental response, all suffering stems from the past.
Yes, there may be undesirable circumstances, but we can either accept and even welcome them, or we can resist and create inner conflict with them. It really is our choice if we are to be conscious of these thought processes and intentional with our response. It’s really quite amazing; you could put two people in the exact same less-than-desirable situation and one will accept it and welcome the challenge, and the other will hate it and resist it. This is what I mean by all suffering happens in the mind. It’s not based on any external situation. Situations and objects have no inherent qualities of good or bad, they only appear to in our mind.
As we spend more and more of our time on screens (like me right now), let’s not forget the beauty and peacefulness within and around us. According to the news, everything is always scary. But usually when we look around ourselves, we see trees growing, people strolling, a beautiful sky and life unfolding.
PS – How does someone who teaches about spirituality grieve? Do they grieve? What does loss look like to someone who teaches non-attachment and impermanence? In my latest podcast, I share my story of grief and loss, how spirituality has been my rock and guiding light in these dark times, and how we can all prepare for, and survive, these most challenging of times.
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