Falling Short, Failing, and Disappointment: A Human's Quest for Perfection
There is a nearly universal form of perfectionism hard-wired into human nature. It is the belief that we are “falling short” of what we should be. It is the habit of feeling somewhat disappointed in ourselves.
I usually have a clear mental vision of my goals and what it is I’m attempting to create in my life. It’s perfect in my head, but the reality on the ground is so different than what I had hoped for. I often feel like a failure.
Of course, part of the problem here is the speed and clarity with which the mind operates, and the slowness of the physical body and all of its attendant needs — like eating, sleeping, exercising, and making money for necessities. When I add in the time it takes for the maintenance of a few quality relationships, and the attention that goes to taking care of my house, my children, and my laundry, the day is just gone, long before I can take my next four effective steps toward becoming rich and of great use to the planet.
I Feel Like A Failure. What Can I Do?
This was frustrating me like crazy, and one day I plunked down in my favorite chair and wailed about what a failure I am. I really believed I should have manifested some “big stuff” by then.
As usual, Spirit listened patiently for a while, awaiting the chance to talk to me as soon as I settled down long enough to listen. When I reached the end of my whine, I breathed deeply for a little while and cleared my mind completely.
You're Not a Failure: Let Go of Human Perfectionism
I cocked my head quizzically, in the manner of a little dog trying to understand something, and sincerely requested Spirit to “dish” on this topic. This is what I heard:
I know you are trying very hard to get everything just right and to get a lot done, but what you need to know is that your own expectations of yourself are so much higher than mine. Nobody on Earth gets to accomplish 100 percent of their plans, and nobody in Spirit expects you to be able to do that. It’s impossible!
In fact, the most successful human beings never get any higher than 80 percent of their plans “right.” If you aim for fulfilling 80 percent of your goals and desires and get as close as you can to that, you will be doing very well indeed, and I will be so pleased with you.
Remember: ultimately, it’s all about love, anyway. Please let go of this human perfectionism that torments you. Achieve an approximation of what you dream of accomplishing in your life on Earth, and be fine with it. It’s certainly fine with me.
Practicing Self-Forgiveness: Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
This is one of the many helpful messages that have come to me over the years when I’ve brought myself to the conversation with the Divine and the task of forgiving myself. In fact, during the first few years of practicing forgiveness, I kept a journal in which there was a section for the messages and insights that came out of my self-forgiveness exercises.
Each time I reached the transpersonal point of view and forgave myself, I also taught myself something very important. I learned that I am way too hard on myself, and that my harsh judgments and “failures” are really a human invention and not at all the way my Higher Self sees me.
How does my Higher Self see me? How does yours see you? Our Higher Self sees us as perfect and whole, cherished children of the Universe, learning what we need to learn.
Steps of Self-Forgiveness: As Above So Below
1. Prepare yourself: Sit on the floor or in a chair, and align your will to make a change. Decide to stop carrying this issue against yourself. Imagine your Higher Self above you, listening compassionately and waiting to grant you the relief of self-forgiveness. Use an image of an eternal field of light or another image of the Higher Power that works for you.
2. Talk out your problem in detail with your Higher Self like you would with a trusted friend or advisor. Ask It for help. Allow your full misery to surface and let your emotions out about it. Remember, there is nothing you can say or do that is unforgivable.
3. Connect with your Higher Self and lift yourself to Its level of consciousness. Lift above the emotional level by first seeing the good in yourself and saying a few examples of that out loud. Visualize your image of your Higher Self again and meditate on some of Its qualities: light, peace, wisdom, generosity, compassion, and so on. Symbolically lift yourself, as a soul, to the level of the Higher Self, leaving your personality down in the chair. Stand and turn to face your personality from above as you continue to fully resonate with God’s great qualities. Allow your heart and mind to expand to the highest level and perspective: become pure light.
4. Grant yourself forgiveness from this higher level. As the Higher Self, in a state of love and light, look down upon where you were sitting and picture your personal self there awaiting your help. View your personality and his or her situation from a universal and expansive perspective. Extend your hands in healing and blessing, imagining light flowing through you and from you down into your personal self, releasing it from all burdens. Speak words of advice, wisdom, and comfort out loud to your personal self from this higher perspective. (Or just enjoy the silence and peace of the Self.) When you feel complete, make a definitive statement like, “I forgive you completely,” or “I release you from your shame.”
5. As your personal self, give thanks for the forgiveness and take in your new perspective. Return to your sitting position and quietly allow this experience to settle and integrate. Note the relief and new understanding. Say: “Thank you for this forgiveness.”
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Beyond Words Publishing, a div. of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
©2011 by Mary Hayes Grieco. www.beyondword.com
This article was excerpted with permission from the book:
by Mary Hayes Grieco.
Mary Hayes Grieco offers a simple, effective eight-step program to discover forgiveness, or in other words, true freedom. The act of forgiveness is more than just letting go of old baggage—resentments, bitterness, and distrust — it’s about healing wounds and wiping away scars. It’s about physical and emotional well-being. It’s about living your life with purpose and truly moving forward.
About the Author
Mary Hayes Grieco has taught her powerful method of forgiveness in a wide variety of venues since 1990. With her background in psychology, and her ten years of intensive personal training with Dr. Edith Stauffer PhD, Mary has refined her method of forgiveness, as well as the way it is taught in workshops, making this life-changing process accessible to everyone. She spoke at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in 2005 and is currently scheduled to present her forgiveness work in Kuwait in March, 2012. Mary has served on staff at the Hazelden Treatment Center for over sixteen years, and at The University of St. Thomas' Management Center. She is the director and lead trainer of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, providing programs for the general public, for mental health professionals, for future trainers of this work, and serious students of self mastery. Visit her website at www.maryhayesgrieco.com