Life is inelegant and clumsy and sometimes so are we. It is an improvised dance and often it’s spectacular in it’s ease and grace but just as often, we can trip and fall smack down on our faces.  Life is definitely an equal opportunity provider… a graceful dance and a face plant in the mud,  interchangeably.  That is the journey. That is the ride.

We don’t learn how to hold an impeccable arabesque without attempting  less than perfect and/or  some pretty awful ones (perhaps for years, perhaps forever!).   It is often the falling down that teaches us how to stand up and yet how we revile falling down.  And worse, how we revile ourselves for falling down.

We think that if we can just be perfect that we can keep the pain of life at bay, (which is a false belief.)
But in the striving to be perfect to avoid pain we inadvertently create more pain. We hurt ourselves in our process. To be perfect leaves no room for error, no room for being human, no room even for discovery and we create our own misery as a result.

Note your own beliefs. Note how you speak and think about yourself particularly when you make a mistake. Our need for perfection is also the ego’s way of making sure that we never achieve peace:  that we never accept ourselves in THIS moment.  And for better or worse, this moment is all we’ve got.

But how to be kind to ourselves…. ( And why is that such a bitch?!)

I think it’s easiest to generate compassion for ourselves if we at first see our own innocence. We get so angry at ourselves because all we see is our own guilt, our terrible faults.  It is important to know that our essence is perfect even if our form is not always manifesting that way. It is important to know that we do our best in every moment as they come (even if from the outside our best seems less than.)
Many people have trouble finding compassion for themselves even if it is cultivated naturally and easily for others.  I know this is true for me.  I’m completely empathetic to others but am really hard on myself. And even when I realize that I am being unkind to myself, it often takes a moment or two to stop myself.  (It feels so good to yell at someone… even if it’s ME!)

So in that case especially I find it is easiest if we see our individual selves as a small child: One small beautiful lovely child – because in essence, that is who we are… Look at how hard we are trying!!! See how scared we are of failing: of being judged, of being rejected, of being in pain.
In life, we wouldn’t yell at a child who was trying to learn something new and was falling short. We would encourage her. We would dry her tears. We would hold her and tell her how deeply loved she is.
When we are angry or upset with ourselves at our “failures” whatever they may be, it is with image in mind that we go towards ourselves. It is with this kind of compassion and light touch that we look at ourselves and talk to ourselves.

Children who are well loved are less afraid to take risks.  They have more confidence.  We need to love ourselves in such a way that we allow ourselves to take risks, fail and completely F everything up.  The flipside is that when we ALLOW failure, we touch our perfection. It isn’t the not falling down ever that is perfect. It is allowing ourselves to be whoever we need to be and not judging ourselves that is perfection.  When we are in the flow (which is an ebb and flow, btw) that we can access our true nature: our divine.

Isn’t it amazing that it is only when we let go and let ourselves be ( even if that means being our most inelegant clumsy selves ) that we touch the miraculous?!  But of course, it is only in THE PROCESS  of letting go (of our need to try to control the universe) that we find freedom.

And really would you rather be perfect(-ly) unhappy or would you rather be free?