(3) 25 Mar 94 01:54:00 Sent: Sat 26 Mar 0:24
By: Adam Sterling
To: Glenda Stocks
St: Rcvd Sent In transit
Date: 11:13 pm Tue Mar 1, 1994 Number : 24 of 41
From: Francesca Thoman Base : Dreams,Pastlives & Reincar
To : All Refer #: None
Subj: Perfection Replies: None
Stat: Sent Origin : 03-01-94 21:03
Perfectionism is the heaviest form of judgment which you can
ever levy upon yourself. Because of its demands for
justification, it absolutely keeps you from receiving love. It is
tireless in inflicting pain, wholly unreasonable in its demands,
and incredibly costly.
Fed by the fear of abandonment, perfectionism grows through
abrogating your original spontaneity, turning it into a hope to
do well -- in other words, to live according to judgment, instead
of by inspiration. Perfectionism eats your self-acceptance,
denies you the joy of success, warps your sense of discernment,
and, by starving you of love, exhausts your courage.
Yet most of you pursue it. Why?
Because perfectionism originally forms around a seed of the
natural desire to please. This desire is spontaneous and
practical together. For you as a child, pleasing your parents is
necessary for your survival, and is useful for your future life.
When this desire grows through an exchange of love between you
and your parents, then you feel safe and secure. But when a
parent has leftover pain and needs that have not been met, he or
she will not be able to live with you, the child, in a fully
present way. Your parents, or anyone's parents, or you as a
parent, or even as a childless person, all have that challenge,
to leave past hurts and other incidents behind and deal with the
present, and the people in it, directly.
But pain freezes you in the past. It's because, well, pain
hurts. Pain, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual, evokes a
complex series of responses, particularly if it is severe. You
want to escape it, but you are afraid to move away from it for
fear of worse happening. You want to bury the pain, to forget it;
you want to move on. But you cannot, not until you've felt it
through. But you can't feel it through; it hurts too much.
So, like plutonium, you look for a "safe" place to dump your
pain. One of the most popular methods is to project it outward,
and hurt someone else. Judging others with your own perfectionism
is a common method, because you can look at others' failings and
feel better than they are -- at least, when you perform
adequately yourself. The pain you have given others comes back,
but you've let go of it for a while, and when it comes back you
can blame them for it. It isn't "yours," it's "theirs."
You judge others because you judge yourself, first. And you
judge yourself because you have been taught by those who judged
themselves. If you project your fear of your own self-judgment
onto others, you fear their judgment because it is your own
self-judgment. You know it already. You know how harsh it is. But
you will not admit your direct responsibility for being so cruel
to yourself. So you "escape," so you think, by judging others
even more stringently. You can even gain power over others, by
scaring them with "your" judgments, which are really their own!
But it does not work for long. You cannot escape your
self-judgment until you confront it for the unbalanced image it
Your ego, the part of you that needs you to retain the
status quo for it to survive, knows this absolutely. It's this
part that keeps up the self-judging attitude, which causes you
more pain, and which (again) keeps you from dealing with the
original hurt. The ego doesn't want you to deal with the original
pain. You might grow up, you might decide that you don't need it
to run your life anymore!
This is why the ego fosters judgmental attitudes: they keep
you from growing, and protect its control over your perceptions
of reality. That perfectionism also ruins your life doesn't
matter to the ego's short-sighted view. It doesn't want you to be
without it, so it tangles you up as much as it possibly can in
projected pain. So you dance its contortions, all the time
forgetting that the very judgments it uses against you were
originally others' judgments of themselves, projected out onto
You are all kinder, more compassionate, and more aware of
others' wants and needs than your current paradigms allow you to
feel you are. But when perfection -- the state being of wholly
and completely yourselves -- is confused with flawlessness, which
is nothing more than accepting a series of narrow limitations,
then your original realness and wholeness gets warped. You
become, not yourselves, but the automatons of others'
Perfectionism is a reaction to pain. It is formed when your
parent's own love-starved demands become impossible for you to
fill, or your parents asked you to carry a level or degree of
pain which you could not possibly contain. When you were faced
with an impossible demand or impossible pain, the child you were
became confused and frightened.
Wanting so much to be secure in a world that did not offer
you the security of the fundamental love you needed, you decided
that you and your needs were at fault, and that you had to live
by the loveless rules you were given. Instead of living in and
receiving love freely, you decided that you had to control
things. But when you were confronted with those real things you
could not control, you did everything you could imagine to do in
order to secure the sense of control you needed.
One of the ways you sought for control was by controlling
yourself, completely. (You can see this quite clearly, in
anorexics, in neurotic (as opposed to organic) psychopaths, in
those who sell everything for power, or the illusions of power.
This will give you an idea of the costs you pay, by allowing
perfectionism to rule you.) You decided that, in order to secure
the love you needed, you had to do the impossible.
You decided that you had to take on the impossible task of
healing your parents' unhealed pain, or their rage, or their own
feelings of abandonment, even though your own physical organism
could not withstand the strain, much less your emotional body. So
great was your desire to please, and your real need for the
secure love you were not receiving, that you took on your
parents' feelings of inadequacy as your own, empathically, and
tried your damnedest to make it all better again.
The dreadful paradox is that those of you who were strong
enough, intelligent enough, and courageous enough, often achieved
the flawless "perfection" that you believed must be accomplished.
It did not matter to that frighten child-part of yourself that
you lost your original sense of wholeness. It did not realize
what it was giving away for love. It did not realize that the
coin it was using to buy love and acceptance was its own self.
But you can heal your perfectionism by loving yourself
freely again. Love that child of yourself without expectation.
Love her without words, without any sense of earning it, or
justifications for it, or fear that there will not be enough. You
have enough love for all of you!
You are made of love, not out of judgments. You are
naturally kind. You are naturally generous. You are naturally
joyful. It was the impossible expectations which have made you
stingy with your love for yourself. The sense that you had to
"earn" your existence was never part of the original picture.
You've already "earned" every right to it by existing! The notion
that you have to justify your existence comes from the belief
that you are basically flawed. The status-quo ego loves this one.
You, the flawed, imperfect, unjustifiable being, you get to earn
your way into the society of living beings in the universe by
being flawlessly perfect! What a scheme, what a scam! Of course
you can't do it. But so many of you try.
Instead of doing this impossible game, tell the ego it's
being ridiculous. Realize that it's usually only "you" (really
the ego) which is giving you this horrible time, and insist that
it quit jerking your chain. Get practice in making mistakes
again. If you're as smart and as capable as you probably are,
you'll need the chance to learn how to recover from error without
shooting yourself down, or chewing yourself up, for it.
Get a mental whip and a chair, and beat your expectations
down this time, not yourself! We do not mean to lower your
standard of excellence, but rather to hack it into more
manageable chunks. Live in the present moment, instead of what
you ought to do in order to play the "I've got to be perfect"
drama. Give yourself credit, aggressively. Don't let the ego send
you on into the "gottas" of the future, so that you can't
receive. You'll have to fight for your right to give yourself a
pat on the back, but it's worth it! Using all the determination
you've already learned on this impossible path of perfectionism,
you can defy your own ego easily, especially with practice.
Learn how do do what you can do, what you want to do, and
what feeds your real self, instead of earning the right to exist
by fulfilling yet more impossible contracts.
Ask why you need justification, really. If the ego can come
up with a real answer (we doubt it), then ask it again, searching
more deeply, until you realize that there is no justification for
the demand of justifying your existence in the first place. It
was all made originally out of someone else's fear and
self-judgment anyway! Why perpetuate it?
And love. Love yourself. Love yourself because, despite it
all, you are still capable of love. If you were not, you would
not have survived.
Obehon and the Circle
"PLAYTIME" IDEAS -- GOD / OBEHON
Playtime 1: Of course the most fun you might have with God is to
pretend being one. Get yourself the image of a ball of energy,
and hold it in your mental hands like a ball of clay. Make a
universe out of it, as big, as deep, or as narrow and shallow as
you want it. Don't judge what your wants are: it's your clay. You
can always give it back when you're done. Do what you want with
it. Make a universe with technicolor stars, with intelligent
space dust, with singing meteors. Make a world in your mind. It
can be like your own world, with improvements. Or it can be
something completely different, something with its own completely
alien ecology, chemistry, or physics. Pick a part to work on so
you can get down to details. If there are people there, who or
what are they? What do they want, and how would they live? You
can ask these creations, they'll tell you. Pretty soon, you'll
see that free will is more fun for you as well as for your
creations. They'll tell you things you never would have guessed!
Playtime 2: If you can do it without making your eyes cross,
focus on the tip of your nose. Feel how the nose feels to you. Is
it large, is it sensitive, does it feel like it would like to
have air going in and out of it? Feel your nose feeling itself.
It's probably very happy to be a nose. It probably enjoys its
cartilage, its skin, its small muscles. It probably enjoys its
shape, both inside and outside. When your attention is fully on
experiencing your nose experiencing itself, then mentally step
back, and experience yourself experiencing yourself experiencing
your nose. This may break your concentration, but we guarantee
you that you'll have a moment or two of broader perception.
Playtime 3: Chose your own name for God. Sit with this a while,
and invent a name which is private and intimate between you and
That One. It will be a name between friends, a special name, a
name only you use. And then, if you can, feel God respond with
your intimate name, the only real name you are known by. You may
not get any word; it's probably more of a feeling. But your
intimate name will be infinitely recognizable. You'll know when
your Friend is speaking with you.
Playtime 4: Play with superlatives. Think big, then bigger, then
biggest, then bigger than that, then bigger still, until your
mind gives up. Then feel something bigger than that, or deeper,
or wider, or greater. Keep on feeling until you don't know how to
feel any more. Then use the perceptions of your secret heart to
know what more than that is. (Your secret heart is only a secret
to others: you know where it is). Make it all even bigger, or
greater, or grander, or more brilliant, whichever quality you
have chosen. Feel the limberness which this kind of space gives
you, and relax into no longer feeling cramped or small.
PLAYTIME IDEAS -- AMERICA / OBEHON
Playtime 1: Be a tourist in your own city. Visit the Chamber of
Commerce, and ask for information about the area. Visit the
places you'd like to see, then write a postcard to a friend about
your visits. Make it such a glowing report that she will want to
come visit, too. Then go with her, and enjoy it together. Pretend
you're seeing it all for the very first time.
Playtime 2: Consider something ordinary and prosaic, like the
potato you're eating tonight. Remember where it started, here in
America. Imagine what it was like for the Native Americans who
developed it. How might they have used it? Imagine how many
people have been fed with potatoes. Imagine how many people have
farmed them. Imagine those people, doing the work to make it
grow, cutting up a good potato for its eyes, and planting them.
Imagine the machines they might use to prepare the soil, water
the fields, harvest the crop, prepare it to be taken to market.
Consider all the hundreds of people involved. The person who
tills the ground; the person who picks the potato; the person who
drives the farm truck. The mechanic who fixes the truck which
takes the potato to market. The store owner, and all his
employees, and his superiors (if he is working in a chain.)
Consider everything and everyone that you can imagine that might
have had something to do with your potato. One potato, and
hundreds of people. One potato, and a great deal of equipment.
One potato, and so many interconnections, you can't help but feel
almost crowded when you sit down to dinner!
Playtime 3: When you're out driving, or being driven, along in a
car, try looking at the trees, instead of the buildings. "Read"
them the same way you might read a billboard or a store sign. If
there are other plants, like landscaping flowers, pay attention
to them, too. When you're out walking, or waiting for someone,
notice living things, wherever you see them. The butterfly on the
grass of the freeway divider strip. The cricket chirring in the
bush next to your office. The ants, the lizards, the spiders.
Become aware of a different environment: theirs. Then realize
that you've always been at home with all of these living things.
You only haven't noticed before.
Playtime 4: Go to a place where you haven't been before, and find
a comfortable place to sit. Then just watch, and feel the
atmosphere of the area you have chosen. What is good about it?
Where is it beautiful? Where do you see something or someone who
is strong? Brave? Generous? These qualities can be found in
anything, from the courageous grass growing in the cement cracks,
to the walnut trees planted by the city which feed the squirrels.
You will find what you look for, always. And what you find
outside of yourself is inside too.
PLAYTIME IDEAS -- BALANCED CHILDREN / OBEHON
Playtime 1: If you have children, or a few indulgent friends,
play a balancing game with them. Get in a circle, and pass a
broad, flat stick around -- but each time a stick is handed to
someone, he or she has to balance something on one or another of
the ends. You can use paperback books, or small rocks, or
beverage coasters, or anything. Each person must balance the
stick before she passes it on to the next person in the circle,
and each must pass it to the new person in such a way that the
stick remains balanced. When the stick eventually falls, collect
up all the pieces and weigh them. Then pass the stick around
again, putting things only on one end while you hold the other in
one hand. When that stick falls (someone's hand is bound to give
out), weigh it and the items you were able to put on it, too.
Playtime 2: You, your child, or anyone can do this. Close one of
your eyes, whichever you choose. That is now the "dead" side. Now
you can only move, let's say, your left arm, walk with your left
leg, see with your left eye, or speak out of the left side of
your mouth. Move around and do things as usual. Do this until you
break up into giggles. Then do the same on the other side.
Playtime 3: Standing with your feet slightly apart, shift from
side to side until you feel your balance is perfectly centered.
Then have your child (or children, if they're small) try to move
you over. Not roughly: they can't shove, only push. When you do
move, stand the same way as before and find your balance again.
Only this time, when you've found it, imagine a ball of solid
light in your chest. Feel that light sink down, slowly, through
your stomach area, your abdomen, until it rests comfortably down
in the circle of your pelvic bones. Then, when you're feeling
solid, have the children push you again to try to move you, this
time while you keep the solid light inside.
Playtime 4: Play "animals" with your children. Work all of you
together to decide which animal to be, and then figure out how
that animal moves and behaves. Then clear a space in the living
room to be your "jungle" and become the animals in it. Enjoy each
other. You can each have a moment in the center of the room,
where you can tell the others about yourself. What kind of animal
you are, what you like, what you don't like, and so on. Then
imagine that you all have to work together to find some food. Ask
each "animal" how it can help find the food. Can one climb to
look for it? Can another run to scout ahead? Can another burrow
down to it? When you find the food, how does each animal eat?
Show each other. Then make the circle one big hug as you make
your own animal's noises to finish the day's work well done.
PLAYTIME IDEAS -- LIVING WITHOUT JUDGMENT / OBEHON
Playtime 1: Choose a comfortable place to sit outside, and just
watch what you see. This is harder than it sounds! It helps to
have your eyes just a little bit unfocused. Watch the trees, the
people, the clouds, the wind, the cars, the birds. Watch without
making any kind of comparisons. Just witness what you see. Then
pick something, a tree, a stone, the bit of pavement at your
feet. Pretend it is witnessing you in the same way, just watching
you. Let yourself see what it sees, without embarrassment. Watch
yourself being witnessed, being perceived. Use this to see parts
of yourself you don't usually see. Not just your physical body,
but your breathing, your thoughts, your intentions. Rest in the
feeling of being witnessed, without judgment.
Playtime 2: If you're a perfectionist, make a mistake
intentionally. It can be a very, very small mistake, but it needs
to be something you've done on purpose. Put the jelly on the
bread first, and then the butter. Eat with the handle of your
fork, and not the tines. Put a stamp on a letter in the top
center, instead of the right-hand corner. Misspell a word. Do
whatever little mistake you can do that doesn't feel too
threatening. Then tell yourself: "I'm in control of this mistake.
I'm bigger than this mistake. Just because it's a mistake doesn't
mean it has to rule my life!" Then make the same mistake again,
this time with a bit of a smirk on your face. You'll show those
mistakes that they can't make you beat yourself up! Then, do the
same task again, the right way, and keep the smirk on your face.
Tell yourself, "See, I already know how to do it right, without
anyone telling me. I'm smarter than I tell myself I am!"
Playtime 3: Do something you're used to doing, that you do well,
and notice how you feel. They try something you're not used to
doing, like reading an upside-down book, or writing a note with a
pen in your teeth. Don't worry about the results, like you can't
read the note you've written, or that the macrame knots you've
just tried look like demented spaghetti. Just notice when you
feel anxious about doing something strange. Is it before you
start, are you so afraid you won't even try? Is it when you can't
do the thing "right" -- when the pen slips, or when the coffee
that you're trying to drink from the second cup -- inside the
first -- spills? Is it when you think of what people are going to
say, seeing the coffee on your shirt? Is it when you have
finished doing this unusual thing, when you see the finished
product? When you've determined where you feel anxious, then
review what you've done, and in the review, hug yourself each
time you're tempted to hurt yourself for "not being good enough."
Do your best to catch yourself in time, before you judge
yourself, but if you miss that chance, hug yourself again for
missing that chance. Hug yourself like you were your best friend.
Playtime 4: Choose which one of your senses -- your sight, your
hearing, your touch -- you would hate to lose most. Then, for a
while, do without that sense. Cover your eyes, or plug your ears,
or wear thick gloves. Pretend that you've lost this sense for
real. You're "really" blind, or deaf, or without feeling, or the
sense of taste or smell. Then pretend you've gone to see a healer
who can make it all right again. But the healer asks, "Why do you
want this sense back?" Answer, "I want it because. . . " (The
answer may surprise you.) Pretend that the healer replies, "Yes,
I will restore your sight (or hearing, etc.) because you want
that. Because I know that you love seeing (or hearing or feeling)
that thing you want." Then take off your blindfold, unplug your
ears, take the gloves off, and just feel the loving reason why
you've done so.
Obehon and the Circle
... From "Spirit Speaks" magazine -- Obehon and Francesca
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12
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* Origin: AWARENET INTERNATIONAL 1-303-377-1963 Denver,Co (111:111/0)