As long as we try to transcend ourselves,
reach for the sky,
pull away from ground and into spirit,
we are heroes carved in stone.
We stand atop the pillar alone
blind to the pigeon’s droppings.
Do not try to transform yourself.
Move into yourself.
Move into your human unsuccess.
Perfection rapes the soul.
– Marion Woodman
The mind and it’s endless thinking; is often trying to convince us that perfection is the answer to all of our problems. If I just get a better grade, work-out harder, date the right person, drive the fanciest car; I’ll be ok.
Spending all of our time in meditation, visualization, psychic work and learning, or conversely, numbing and escaping; in an attempt to transcend ourselves can also be an attempt to dissociate from our very human existence.
I know what it’s like to use all of the above methods to avoid being present within myself. I made the unconscious choice to become a doctor; in a desperate attempt to make myself ok. Yet, year after year, I would starve myself, make myself sick with drugs; embrace punishing work-outs to have a perfect body, because I bought into these things as being the route to happiness and acceptance. Car’s and men were used for status, to impress people that I didn’t even know. I thought that the fancy degree would take care of money issues and give me a secure future. If I wasn’t numbing with substances, I was escaping with vision’s and day dreaming instead of using trust and action to allow my good to arrive.
That inner peace that so many of us search for, is not found in perfection. It is found by moving into one’s self, by going to “ground” and into the center. Transcendence comes from connection to the core of your individual humanity, and to the Earth.
For most people, it takes a fall (literally being grounded) to shake them from the reverie of perfectionism. Mother Earth rises up to catch us, and sometimes her embrace isn’t so soft.
However, she is here; living, breathing and supportive. Just as is, your body. Your body speaks a similar language to that of the Earth’s. They both speak the truth and contain our entire history. In order to move away from perfectionism and disconnection from the self, we must learn the language of earth and body. This inner communication is rich and full of intelligence. The inner landscapes, of the Earth and your body, have been waiting your entire life for you to come inside and finally listen.
One of the most profound ways I have found to understand these magical voices, is to move within the rhythm of the seasons. When I allow-in the awareness that my body wants to collaborate with nature, I am able to release some of the harmful control that media and marketing messages want me to believe; such as I must poke and prod at myself to fit into their distorted ideal of perfection. Allowing awareness to flow between body and nature, I am able to hear the voice of my body, that then, gently guides me to what is right for us.
I can laugh at the notion that I must have a car to function in society. I can escape the propaganda that say’s I need to drink to have fun or escape my pain. I can listen and allow my body to rest and reflect in winter, while the rest of the world goes on the next trendy diet and workout plan.
The ground becomes the place of realization, of opening, and then peels off the layers of what is not me. My times of solitude, learning about living in accordance with the seasons, and reflection, have revealed and then healed many an addiction.
This is not to say that this way of living is all comfort and ease. I’m pretty sure I’m wildly unpopular with many who perceive me to be distant and too direct. I can fall into the trap of comparison, as well as the lure of pretty, shiny objects. Sometimes, the silence can perpetuate a return to patterns of distraction; I must be vigilant and kind. Yes, I must treat myself, and others, with compassion and kindness, and remember to reach out for those gentle places. I remember that we connect to each other not through perfection, which rarely allows for an honest interaction, but through our human “unsuccess.”
As we move into the exciting energy of spring with its element of “wood,” I invite you, to travel with me, as we explore the idea of wood as flexible and full of wild, imperfect movement. It’s a time of renewal, laughter, planting seeds, intentions and action. It’s a season of greater community and a wonderful time to gather, in person, with our friends and families. I’ve begun a big movement towards using my phone, as just that, a phone and staying off of the apps and social media, in order to spend face to face time with my loved ones.
What ways of perfectionism can you release into the spring wind? What sort of seeds of renewal do you want to plant? How can you come down from the pillar of aloneness and move into your inner self?
As always, comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated. I’m here to support and love, however that may appear for you.