I am always searching for truth, for meaning, which sounds so ideally romantic and I thought it was until I realised that it must mean something is missing that I am trying to find. With that came an awareness that I was investing a lot of time focusing on loss and deficiency. I always had something to focus on which needed fixing within my relationships but in particular my body. It consumed so much energy and space. The mind can be like velcro adhering to negative experiences and painful things, some minds sticking more then others depending on what kind of existence we have lived through and experienced.
The thing is when the driving force of self growth or development comes from this place of having to fix something then there has to be a unconscious belief that “I am broken” or “I am not enough” When we only focus on the things that aren’t working we can get so wrapped up in believing WE are not working.
Healing will never happen when there is this unconscious poison called shame seeping through our bodies and minds telling us we are broken.
Those of us that are “working on ourselves” sometimes can fall into a dark hole and get caught up in there trying to figure things out, consumed with trying to change and be a better person. Has the self-development world unconsciously conditioned us to over-identify with our patterns, habits and problems? “I have a problem” can very quickly become “I AM the problem”
I have been contemplating the concept of wholeness lately, bringing into my yoga classes often. Wholeness is described as an undivided or unbroken completeness - the Sanskrit word for this is “Akhanda” It is an experiential state that will feel different for every one. For me it is a kind of spaciousness, a state of coherence, a feeling of integrity. What if this was our foundation for Healing?
What if we are able to shift our perception and widen it to allow for a bigger spectrum of all of us? What if we stopped focusing so much of our energy being consumed on the things that are not working and started to bring some of that focus on the things which are. Tapping into where does has capacity, seeing what is thriving and let that support the other stuff. Extending that outwards too... noticing our strengths/ weaknesses and reaching out for those around us whose strengths can support our weaknesses.
It really helps me when I notice I am seeking perfection to shift my focus to encompass more of myself and uncover those stories within that need more honouring and nourishing allowing them to become more accessible and integrated. At the same time there is no need to banish the parts that are not so functional, they are still there, still part of us. Yet they are not our identity.
We are more than our symptoms, we are more then our patterns or habits and way more then some of the stories we carry around with us but we dutifully lug them around like carrying a heavy backpack full of rocks, breaking our own backs and weighing ourselves down.
The difference I see between the journey of perfection vs wholeness is that perfection is trying to deny and banish the parts of us we dislike, but wholeness is a container for all of us, even the parts imperfect.
Tara Brach a leading teacher of Buddhist meditation and psychology writes that “By cultivating an unconditional and accepting presence, we are no longer battling against ourselves, keeping our wild and imperfect self in a cage of judgment and mistrust. Instead, we are discovering the freedom of becoming authentic and fully alive.”
It was so ironic, The day I wrote this piece I stayed at one my dearest friends house. She has 4 children, 3 of them under the age of 9. I was reading bedtime stories to Viola, the 5 year old and she bought me over “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein to read to her. The author brilliantly describes an almost whole circle that seeks a “missing piece” to complete it. There is alot of subtle messages in this book but I believe the most important one is that even the search for completion is flawed - when the missing piece is found it is clear that the almost whole circle didn’t need it and this is because even when we are “incomplete” we are already whole in our own way.
To be always searching and looking for something to make us better, to complete us, to make us whole is fundamentally flawed.
Don’t get caught up in the trap!