Sunday, October 11, 2015

More on Perfectionism

     I continue to be distressed over the insidiousness of the mental obsession with perfectionism that is rampant in our society.
     "Everyone's striving for God, when they haven't even found their humanness yet." The late Goswami Kriyananda.
     Children are taking their own lives because they aren't "good enough." One more activity in my already too-crammed schedule will make me a better human, "perfect." People are isolating from others lest those others find out that their kids/marriage/job/financial situation/whatever isn't perfect. The fear of not appearing perfect stifles many a creative idea, opportunity for learning, and pursuit of one's passion.
     Yes, it takes one to know one. I am a recovering perfectionist, raised by a card-carrying perfectionist, who, truth be told, was a regular, full-scale human mess. (I did love, and still love my mom!)
     In my introductory statements to new students in my yoga classes, I say, among other things, "It's OK to laugh, it's OK to fart, it's OK to laugh if you fart, and it's OK to laugh if someone else farts." I often get appalled looks. Fart in public? NEVER!!! One of the reasons I love yoga is that it gets us in touch with our human bodies, with all the mystery and goofiness they have to offer. Really, if you are too uptight to fart in public, you may want to contemplate perfectionism in your life.
     Ironically enough, I think we all know intellectually that there is no such thing as "perfect." We know everyone makes mistakes, and I expect we can all recall something (many things?) really dumb that we've done. We came here to explore life, and it's a practice, every single moment. We have to keep breathing, cleaning, mowing the lawn, eating, walking, on and on--everything we do is a practice. Imagine if a baby, upon taking it's first step and falling, said, "Well, I can do that walking thing, so no more trying that for me!"
     I encourage you to pay attention to your thoughts. Key phrases evident of perfectionism include:
Not good/smart/young/old/rich/talented enough for ...
What will people think?
I might fail...
I can't...
So-and-so may not approve...
We don't do that in our family...
     Finding more of my humanness every day,

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