Updated: Mar 17
We have become fixated to the idea that we are not "whole" unless our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual being is in complete alignment. Our society compensates us for striving for perfection and ostracizes us when we don't. Over time, this societal belief puts us in a constant state of psychological turmoil, embedding itself in our psychology to the point that we feel ashamed when we experience stagnation and regression in our lives.
Healing isn't linear. We retract and regress in our personal development and healing because we are human. Life is in a constant state of change, and if we can learn how to be free from the attachment of our experiences, we can be free of aversion to the negative ones. Healing is subjective to your suffering. Suffering is a byproduct of your healing. Once we let go of what the healing experience should look or feel like, we can observe the journey as a bystander - integrating the full experience into our reality.
The ego edits and limits our reality.
"Greatness is merely an illusion in our minds, a made-up destination that we obligate ourselves to pursue, our own psychological Atlantis." - Mark Manson
We perceive the world around us through our limited five senses. This narrow perception and the way we gather data using these limited senses can sometimes create illusions of who we believe we are supposed to be. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or perfectionism, your thinking can sometimes skew your perceptions. How many of us have scrolled through social media or looked at an advertisement and compared ourselves to what was being projected at us? Thoughts stir up feelings, which in turn trigger more negative thoughts, creating cognitive distortions.
One incredibly useful tool to explore when navigating unsupportive beliefs about ourselves is "Belief Debugging," a process for testing whether a belief that you hold benefits positively or serves you. Use this template as a guide to understanding the belief of who you're supposed to be.
Belief Debugging Template
1. What is your belief?
2. Is it true?
3. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
4. How do you react? What happens when you believe that thought?
What emotions arise when you believe that thought?
What images of past and future do you see when you believe that thought?
How do you treat yourself and others when you believe that thought?
5. Who would you be without that thought?
6. Turn the thoughts around
Possible opposites of the belief:
7. Contemplate how each turnaround is as true or truer in that situation:
8. Which resonates and provides you with new insight into the situation?
9. Reflect on the process above. What have you learned? How does the situation feel different now?
Remember that our ego can create a distorted view of our reality, making us believe that we won't "transcend" if we aren't an "enlightened" being (eye roll). I believe one of the hardest things for us to accept as human beings is the fact that we are already perfect. There's nothing more and nothing less for us to do - except to be in our existence and breathe. Perfection is a myth, so surrender to the art of imperfection.